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"Green Targets Are Unambitious"

by Thomas Bamford – 26th June 2020
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The Green Party is pushing the council to aim much higher with their zero carbon emissions target.

Buckinghamshire's Green Councillor and Haddenham resident, David Lyons, says "it appears that the new Bucks Unitary authority has secretly adopted a very unambitious target to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, rather than adopting the more challenging target of 2030 that the former Aylesbury Vale District Council had voted to recommend".

At the recent Transport, Environment and Climate Change Select Committee meeting Councillor Lyons, unable to contain himself, exclaimed: "your grandchildren will curse you for this decision!"

This seems to have agitated some Councillors and yet it is a matter of great urgency.

David says "rather than looking to the minimum standard, we should all expect Buckinghamshire Council to be ambitious and forward thinking, and concerned for future generations".

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change however challenged this, saying their targets were "extremely ambitious".

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said:

"Buckinghamshire Council is extremely ambitious in regard to all aspects of climate change, including reducing carbon emissions. Improving our environment is one of the four key priorities for the new Buckinghamshire Council and the council's Cabinet is due to consider a report on this next month. Working with our partners, we will address climate change by taking wide-ranging actions to reduce our carbon emissions, from planting trees to environmentally-focussed planning."

"The new Council is in the process of analysing a wide-ranging carbon audit carried out across all five of the former councils in Buckinghamshire. We are not delaying or putting back anything – a huge amount of work is ongoing to examine how we will become carbon neutral in Buckinghamshire and our top priority is making sure we have a strategy in place that really works. It will take long term and wide-reaching behaviour change by all of us."

"We are working on an immediate strategy to build on the shift to cycling and walking as a result of the coronavirus pandemic to encourage – and facilitate – even more uptake of walking and cycling in Buckinghamshire. We would urge everyone to try to make journeys on foot or by cycling where possible."

"The new Council acknowledges all the progress made by the former councils on climate change which gives us a strong platform from which to develop an ambitious approach on climate change – and this is what we are committed to doing."

Thomas Bamford
Bucks Herald, 26 June 2020

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