Published: Monday, 14th June 2021

We have adopted a new Climate Change Action Plan which sets out how the area will respond to climate change. 

We declared a Climate Change emergency in 2019 and since then we have been developing an action plan and working hard to achieve our target of becoming carbon neutral in Medway by 2050. At our Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 8 June, councillors approved the Climate Change Action Plan blueprint which supports our vision.

The plan aligns with the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy.

To help us understand our current carbon footprint, and identify ways to reduce emissions, a technical study has been carried out. The study found that in 2018/2019 our carbon footprint represented just 1.4 per cent of emissions in Medway. Although we are committed to doing everything we can to lower carbon emissions across Medway, however, businesses, schools, local groups and residents all need to play their part to tackle climate change.

The study also set out a series of possible interventions which could help reduce our emissions by 95 per cent by 2050 which included energy efficiency measures in council buildings, installing solar panels and LED lighting. We are now reviewing these options to determine their suitability.

The newly approved action plan will be reviewed each year and local partners, and the wider community, will be able to have their say.

We have made significant progress since declaring a Climate Change emergency including:

  • Continuing to expand and improve Medway’s cycle routes. Medway has 81 miles of cycle ways and has seen a 20 per cent increase in cycling since last year.
  • A £12million energy efficiency programme in council buildings.
  • Planting 13,842 trees across Medway thanks to funding from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund and establishing a Medway Tree Fund.
  • Creating 30 miles of wildflower verges to allow a wider diversity of wild grass and flowers to thrive.
  • Producing an animated video to raise awareness of air quality, its effects and what can be done to reduce the impacts, which has been promoted in schools across Medway.
  • Continuing work on an ambitious £11million LED street lighting replacement programme.
  • Developing an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point survey which will inform a new five year EV strategy.
  • Launching an EV trial for some of Medway’s social workers.

Plans are also in place to install 34 EV charging points in Medway later on this summer. More information on this exciting project will be available in due course.

Small changes will make a big difference

Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council, who is leading on Medway’s Climate Change agenda, said: “I am pleased that we have adopted the Climate Change Action Plan. I would like to emphasise that the plan is a flexible working document which will be updated as we continue to work with partners, including residents, on the pathway to making Medway carbon neutral by 2050. There are many small changes that we can all incorporate into our daily lives which will make a big difference to our climate such as recycling correctly, walking and using public transport. We all need to work together in the fight against climate change.”

Find out more about how we are tackling climate change in Medway

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