Appendix three - Climate Change Impact Assessment



The purpose of this assessment is to help us understand the likely impacts of our decisions on the environment of North Yorkshire and on our aspiration to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2030, or as close to that date as possible. The intention is to mitigate negative effects and identify projects which will have positive effects.


This document should be completed in consultation with the supporting guidance. The final document will be published as part of the decision making process and should be written in Plain English.


If you have any additional queries which are not covered by the guidance please email 

Please note: You may not need to undertake this assessment if your proposal will be subject to any of the following: 
 Planning Permission
 Environmental Impact Assessment
 Strategic Environmental Assessment
 However, you will still need to summarise your findings in the summary section of the form below.
 Please contact for advice.











Title of proposal

17.01.23 Executive: York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative and Draft North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy 2023-2030

Brief description of proposal

Members will consider endorsing the York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative and undertaking a public consultation on the NYC Draft Climate Change Strategy. These are both ‘new’ policy documents which propose both continuation of existing actions and new activities.



Central Services

Service area

Policy, Partnerships and Communities

Lead officer

Neil Irving, Assistant Director – Policy, Partnerships and Communities

Names and roles of other people involved in carrying out the impact assessment

Jos Holmes, Climate Change Policy Officer

Date impact assessment started



Options appraisal

Were any other options considered in trying to achieve the aim of this project? If so, please give brief details and explain why alternative options were not progressed.


Members requested that a Climate Change Strategy for the new Council be developed following the declaration of the climate emergency in July 2022. However, the various possible approaches that has been taken to develop the Strategy have been considered:

1 North Yorkshire Council Climate Change operational activity only – rejected as the Council services will be able to influence all residents, businesses and visitors in terms of taking climate responsible actions and the local authority has a responsibility to do this alongside considering its own carbon footprint.

2 Key objectives were debated. It was agreed to include mitigation, adaptation and supporting nature as the 3 key objectives as these will have the most impact on our response to the climate emergency.

3 Options for engagement: the process of developing the Strategy over the past few months was considered. Local community engagement and Member engagement was adopted to ensure that communities of interest had the opportunity to develop the approach right from the start and the new shadow Council Members views could be accommodated at an early point in the process. The process has been led by the LGR Climate Change Working Group to ensure that all Authorities that will form the new Council have been involved.

What impact will this proposal have on council budgets? Will it be cost neutral, have increased cost or reduce costs?


Please explain briefly why this will be the result, detailing estimated savings or costs where this is possible.


The decisions relating to this report do not in themselves require a financial commitment to be made. As highlighted in the consultation draft Strategy, climate change activities and interventions will have financial implications. These range from income generation and budget saving opportunities through to low-cost behaviour change and to large scale capital investments. Investing in feasibility and business plans through the NYCC Beyond Carbon pump-priming fund (along with other external funding) has enabled financial capital and revenue bids to be made by creating an evidence base and there are opportunities for Shared Prosperity and Devolution Deal funding in the near future which the Council needs to be ready to grasp.  It is likely that local authority funding will be required to take forward prioritised schemes, either in full or as match funding with others and these would be the subject of future decision making as the opportunities are identified and evaluated.  Such schemes will need to be robustly assessed to determine that the climate change interventions represent good value for money.  All schemes will need to be considered in light of the financial environment and alongside other Council priorities.






How will this proposal impact on the environment?

N.B. There may be short term negative impact and longer term positive impact. Please include all potential impacts over the lifetime of a project and provide an explanation.

Positive impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

No impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

Negative impact

(Place a X in the box below where relevant)

Explain why will it have this effect and over what timescale?


Where possible/relevant please include:

·      Changes over and above business as usual

·      Evidence or measurement of effect

·      Figures for CO2e

·      Links to relevant documents

Explain how you plan to mitigate any negative impacts.


Explain how you plan to improve any positive outcomes as far as possible.


Minimise greenhouse gas emissions e.g. reducing emissions from travel, increasing energy efficiencies etc.


Emissions from travel




Improving access to digital services and to services provided close to people’s homes

Increase walking and cycling opportunities

Support people to choose multi person travel options

Increase access to ‘alternative fuels’ for vehicles

Ensure low carbon travel choices are supported by the Development Plan process and Neighbourhood Plan place making and Local Transport Plan


Applying to all the impacts listed below: Infrastructure improvements coupled with communication messaging, training and behavioural change programmes. This approach is supported in the ‘principles’ section: Using data and behavioural insights to maximise successful impact of interventions and ensuring confidence in ‘big ticket’ investments through feasibility and business case planning

Emissions from construction




Ensure new buildings are developed to be ‘climate responsible’.

Support delivery of the York and North Yorkshire Circular Economy Strategy – this includes biobased construction.


There will be short term negative impacts due to construction works needed to implement improvements to building fabric, heating systems and installation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This will be outweighed by the longer-term positive effects of this work. These will be mitigated through design and specification.

CCIAs will be used to review infrastructure decisions such as Highways and Property to ensure construction emissions are mitigated.

Emissions from running of buildings




Retrofit commercial and residential properties and assets using a ‘fabric first’ approach

Plan for renewable energy generation

Increase renewable and low carbon energy capacity at differing scales

support community energy projects and co-ops 











Minimise waste: Reduce, reuse, recycle and compost e.g. reducing use of single use plastic




Take the ‘waste hierarchy’ approach our waste management. 

Support delivery of the York and North Yorkshire Circular Economy Strategy



Reduce water consumption




Improvements to buildings will include measures to reduce water consumption as will behavioural change programmes and messaging.



Minimise pollution (including air, land, water, light and noise)





Improvements in air quality are noted as a ‘co benefit’ in the Strategy as a result of the proposed activities and interventions.



Ensure resilience to the effects of climate change e.g. reducing flood risk, mitigating effects of drier, hotter summers




Adaptation is one of the three key objectives: The formation of NYC provides the perfect opportunity to better co-ordinate and expand our work to ensure the Council and our residents, communities and businesses  are ready for the impacts of climate change. Several proposals are included to support adaptation.



Enhance conservation and wildlife





Supporting nature is one of the three key objectives. This recognises the interdependencies of the natural world and human population to respond to and recover from climate change.


Research and implement best practice in relation to conservation activity. Working in partnership is essential.

Safeguard the distinctive characteristics, features and special qualities of North Yorkshire’s landscape





There are changing demands for land use that will happen as a result of climate change. This includes agricultural practices that have shaped the landscape and competing demands of renewable energy generation and sequestration. Communities and local authorities will respond to this through the Development Management process.



Other (please state below)









Are there any recognised good practice environmental standards in relation to this proposal? If so, please detail how this proposal meets those standards.


There are many examples of good practice in the development of Local Authority Climate Change Strategies. Advice has been taken from national organisations such as the Climate Change Committee, Energy Saving Trust and Local Government Association, as well as NGOs such as Climate Emergency UK and Wildlife Trusts.



Summary Summarise the findings of your impact assessment, including impacts, the recommendation in relation to addressing impacts, including any legal advice, and next steps. This summary should be used as part of the report to the decision maker.


The Routemap to Carbon Negative and the Draft North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy will support an effective transition to the low carbon economy and enable the potential for everyone to take climate responsible choices in both longer term investments and in daily activities.



Sign off section


This climate change impact assessment was completed by:



Jos Holmes

Job title

Climate Change Policy Officer

Service area

Policy, Partnerships and Communities


Central Services


J Holmes

Completion date



Authorised by relevant Assistant Director (signature): Neil Irving


Date: 05.01.23