The Executive is recommended to:
i. endorse the York and North Yorkshire’s Routemap to Carbon Negative, whilst recognising that many of the ambitions and actions in the Routemap are the responsibility of others and outside the control and influence of the Council;
ii. agree to undertake a public consultation on the Draft North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy 2023-2030 and authorise the Assistant Director Policy, Partnerships and Communities to make any necessary changes to the text following the discussion at this meeting; and
iii. receive a further report, after the conclusion of the public consultation, outlining the results of the consultation and including the proposed North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy 2023-2030.
Considered – A report of the Assistant Director Policy, Partnerships and Communities, seeking endorsement of York and North Yorkshire’s Routemap to Carbon Negative and proposing a public consultation on a Draft North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy 2023-2030.
County Councillor Greg White introduced the report, confirming the previous commitment made by the County Council and the seven district and borough councils to be carbon neutral as organisations by 2023. He drew attention to the proposal within the report that the County Council now endorse a new York and North Yorkshire’s Routemap to Carbon Negative Plan developed by York and North Yorkshire LEP detailing how the region as a whole (businesses, communities and public sector) could achieve net zero by 2034 and carbon negative by 2040. He confirmed the Routemap took account of the current district and borough council plans and stressed that the new North Yorkshire Council would not be able to deliver the LEP’s Plan by itself and therefore could only play a strategic leadership role in achieving those targets.
Jos Holmes - Climate Change Policy Officer, provided an overview of the work undertaken to date to develop a draft Climate Change Strategy 2023-2030 and noted the contributions of partners. She also drew attention to the Action Plan and Operational Plan within the Strategy, and outlined tits four key pillars i.e., Mitigation; Adaptation; Supporting Nature to Thrive; and Achieving net zero in NYC operational activity by 2030.
In response to Members questions it was confirmed:
· It was not in NYC’s gift to deliver the aspirations within the LEP’s new Routemap to Carbon Negative Plan, it could only contribute.
· There would be a continued focus on NYCC’s operations and all interim actions would continue.
· Full consideration would be given to the feedback generated by the proposed public consultation.
· The consequence of inaction would be taken account of, in considering any proposed actions and their associated costs.
County Councillor Paul Haslam welcomed the second iteration of NYCC’s Strategy but queried whether the time horizons made sense. He also questioned the mechanism to scrutinise its implementation.
Regarding the LEP’s Routemap to Carbon Negative Plan:
· County Councillor Keane Duncan welcomed the scale of its ambition but highlighted the many aspirational targets within it and raised concern about the practicalities of delivering them.
· County Councillor Simon Myers recognised the benefit it might bring providing opportunities for the region through the upskilling of its workforce, better paid jobs etc, but expressed caution in promising something which the new NYC could not afford to deliver.
· County Councillor Gareth Dadd noted that every action had a consequence and suggested a pragmatic approach was required in this time of austerity, as its delivery could not be to the detriment of the budgets available for services for vulnerable people.
Finally, County Councillor Carl Les confirmed his intention to introduce a new Members Champion with a focus on Climate Change and Biodiversity, as part of the new NYC arrangements.
Resolved - That:
i. The York and North Yorkshire’s Routemap to ... view the full minutes text for item 155