Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver 100% clean energy by 2050

Cambridgeshire’s young people can look forward to a greener future as the County Council signs UK100 clean energy pledge

Cllr Steve Count, Leader of the County Council, and Cllr Josh Schumann, Chair of the Commercial and Investment Committee, signed the UK100 pledge after General Purposes Committee at Shire Hall today (Tuesday 16 July 2019) where approval was also given for the Council’s new corporate energy strategy.

By signing up to the UK100 network the Council is pledging to secure clean energy, relegating fossil fuels to the past as much as it can, and for Cambridgeshire to become part of an exciting smart new energy system.

UK100 is a network of highly ambitious local government leaders focused solely on climate change and clean energy policy. When tackling climate change, the move towards energy sustainability and zero carbon emissions will only be achieved if energy is supplied from renewables and low carbon fuels and energy is used more efficiently than it is now.

Cambridgeshire County Council as a member of UK100 plans to lead other rural authorities on a body of work - to find out what climate change concerns and solutions look like in rural communities and how to make energy change solutions work.

More renewable energy and battery storage is needed to support the Government’s net zero carbon commitments by 2050 and deliver on the County Council’s climate emergency declaration in May 2019. Agreeing the Council’s Corporate Energy Strategy is a big step towards a greener future for us all and complements the recently approved Plastics Strategy.

The Council has more than two hundred public buildings, over 250 schools and manages significant farm estates and has so far invested £19million into energy projects including solar parks. With an investment programme of a further £55million to deliver during the next few years, this will help Cambridgeshire move towards the new energy system our future needs.

Cllr Steve Count said: “As a society we need to move towards energy sustainability and zero carbon emissions by 2050 to help tackle climate change but also if we wish to remain a competitive economy.

“It will require ambition and imagination so that our children can have a safe and secure future and we must take responsibility and work with Government and our communities to bring forward the changes.”

Cllr Josh Schumann said: “We have signed up to support UK100’s pledge to deliver 100% clean energy before 2050, in line with the commitments made nationally and internationally at the Paris Summit on climate change.

“We want to lead all our communities through the changes ahead but in particular we must support our rural communities to find ways to benefit and contribute to a new energy system as it decarbonises. Crucially we must prevent our rural communities getting left behind.”

Polly Billington, Director of UK100, said: “Cambridgeshire have already shown considerable leadership in developing clean energy and they will be an asset to our network.

Making the shift to a clean energy future will bring benefits for all - from better jobs to cleaner air, and for local communities the ability to generate their own energy. It will be exciting to connect the County Council to other equally ambitious local authorities across the country to tackle climate change together.”

The Council will involve the public and local businesses and organisations in the implementation of any new policies, and will also collaborate with other UK100 Cities councils in order to learn from them and work to influence national policy.

For more information on what the Council is doing, visit the dedicated web page: www.mlei.co.uk/climate&environment.