Hertfordshire declares a climate emergency

Hertfordshire County Council has declared a climate emergency and committed itself to developing an ambitious programme to improve sustainability in the county.

The declaration received unanimous cross-party support today’s (16 July) meeting of the full County Council.

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The motion commits the county council to developing a Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy that will set out the policies, strategies and implementation plans needed to embed sustainability across all the councils operations and services.

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council David Williams, who proposed the motion, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve made this important declaration and I’d like to thank the councillors from all parties who backed this. It’s vital that we have this clear and solid commitment to improving sustainability.

“As a county council we’re well-placed, not just to reduce our own environmental impact but to help the whole county become more sustainable. If we make the right policies and decisions we can help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, promote energy efficiency, reduce waste, promote more environmentally friendly land use and more.

“This declaration is only the beginning of course, and now we need to develop our Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy to identify the practical steps we need to make environmental sustainability business as usual for us as we work with the ten district councils to manage growth in the county.”

The Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy will be presented to the county council’s Cabinet before the end of the year.

Its strategy will build on existing initiatives including the county council’s Air Quality Strategy, Energy Strategy, Climate Change Resilient Communities Strategy, Pollinator Strategy and work to promote recycling and reduce single-use plastics.