Bridport Town Council
Climate Emergency Action Plan 2019
Bridport Town Council believe that urgent action is required if we are to reduce the massive risks associated with climate change for nature, people and the planet. Bridport Town Council responded quickly in 2019 to the emerging consensus that climate change had become a crisis that required emergency action. BTC declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and followed this up with a detailed Action Plan in October 2019 together with a dedicated budget for the climate emergency of £100,000.
Town Councillors established a Climate Action Sub Committee to oversee and steer the delivery of the Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Sub Committee has been meeting monthly to receive project updates and has produced a priorities document for 2022/23:
Keeping the Climate Action Plan Under Review
It has been four years since Bridport Town Council published its Climate Emergency Action Plan. At the Climate Action Sub Committee meeting on 25th May 2023, councillors agreed to undertake a rapid review of actions against the plan and invite the community to review, prioritise and add to actions for the coming year.
The CE Action Plan 2019 set out to:
|GOAL 1||To reduce the Town Council’s carbon footprint;|
|GOAL 2||To work towards making Bridport a Carbon Neutral Town by 2030;|
|GOAL 3||To prepare Bridport for the impacts of climate change by developing greater community resilience.|
We have launched a review of the Bridport Climate Action Plan (2019) with a view to producing a refreshed Action Plan in Autumn 2023. Below is the review document we have produced to understand what actions have been successfully delivered and where progress has been more difficult to make.
We have set up an online questionnaire to gather feedback for the review and help us in drafting a refreshed Action Plan for 2024/2025.
Consultation will close on August 30th 2023. Use the link below to go to the online questionnaire.
Media Release – Bridport Food Security Plan
A Food Security Plan for Bridport
Bridport Town Council (BTC) has secured support from the Dorset AONB Sustainable Development Fund to produce a food security plan for the town and surrounding rural area. BTC will be working with the Landworkers Alliance and Bridport Food Matters over the coming months to gather data and define actions that would ensure our community has access to healthy, nutritious and high welfare food, and that we can all benefit from the best of local produce.
Food prices have reached a 46 year high; the price of a weekly basket of adequately nutritious food has increased by 24-26% since April 2022. In January 2023, for example, more than nine million adults in the UK (17.7% of households) experienced food insecurity. Currently we import 32% of our fruit and vegetables from areas defined as climate vulnerable, and 54% from countries likely to face high water scarcity by 2040, threatening the resilience of our supply chains. British farmers urgently need better protection and support to produce the healthy, sustainable fruit and vegetables we need for a nutritious diet, while restoring biodiversity and capturing carbon.
The ambition is to publish a Bridport Food Security Plan by December 2023, a first for a small market town, and for the plan to shape the ongoing review of the Bridport Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Bridport food security plan will explore the steps required to shift our local food system toward greater resilience. It will cover:
- Food security –how to secure a reliable supply of healthy, fairly traded, and nutritious food and ensure everyone can afford it;
- How to best use our land to create resilient, climate and nature friendly farming;
- How to support local horticulture and make it easier for everyone to eat more fruit and veg;
- A fair deal for farmers and farm workers;
- How to rebalance prices, availability and marketing so that nutritious food is the easiest choice for everyone;
- Setting core environmental and animal welfare standards for domestic food and imports alike.
To find out more about work on food security and the review of the Climate Emergency Action Plan see: Climate Action Plan Under Review – Bridport Town Council (bridport-tc.gov.uk)
Or contact, [email protected]
Bridport Town Council
Plottingham Solar Car Port Project
Bridport Town Council has completed installation of an innovative solar panel car port in Plottingham car park, Bridport. From mid December some 22,217 kWh per year of renewable energy will be produced on site. The Town Council will be using the energy to power it’s own electric vehicles and are negotiating with Octopus Energy to supply local residents with renewable energy through the Energy Local Bridport scheme.
This project is an important step toward delivering the Town Councils Climate Emergency Action Plan (2019). Reducing the Councils annual greenhouse gas emissions whilst serving as an example of how local businesses can generate low carbon energy.
This project has been part funded by Low Carbon Dorset as part of the European Regional Development Fund and will save over 11.5 tonnes of CO2 each year.
“Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve
a crisis without treating it as a crisis. […] And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should
change the system itself.” Greta Thunberg, COP 24, Katowice, Poland
During 2019 the impacts of the changing climate have become increasingly visible. Public protests have led to widespread awareness of the risks of further climate change – and the remedies. Governments at all levels around the world are looking to step up their response. Carbon neutrality has now become a mainstream goal.
Bridport Town Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. The declaration included a commitment to produce a Climate Action Plan within 6 months.
The theory of change behind declaring a climate emergency is so that councils can provide leadership and help educate their communities about both the threat of and solutions to the climate crisis. This should then act to harness “people power” to make that change possible at all levels, especially driving higher levels of government to act and ultimately force them to pull the economic and legislative levers needed to reverse global warming and restore a safe climate.
Tough targets do not themselves reduce emissions. Action plans must be drawn up to deliver them. The climate crisis demands bigger solutions than we initially thought. We need to see the climate crisis not as a stand-alone issue floating separately from everything else, but also as a pressing and central response to promoting health, wellbeing and equality. This Action Plan therefore looks to build resilience in the face of the likely economic disruption from climate change. This will involve building strong communities and a vibrant, self-sustaining economy.
As noted by the Government’s Committee on Climate Change in its Progress Report to Parliament July 2019; there is a “substantial gap between current plans and future requirements and an even greater shortfall in action”. Government continues to be off track for the fourth and fifth carbon budgets – on their own appraisal – and the policy gap has widened further in 2019 as an increase in the projection of future emissions has outweighed the impact of new policies.
Even if net zero is achieved globally, our climate will continue to warm in the short-term, and sea level will continue to rise for centuries. We must plan for this reality. This requires rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors –
including energy, transport, food and agriculture – alongside bolder efforts to maximise the potential of carbon sinks such as woodlands, peatlands and soil. Combating climate change requires unified action across all sectors of society.
However, this collective action is precluded by the ‘consensus gap’ between scientific knowledge and public opinion.
This Action Plan for Bridport Town Council is based on a commitment to achieve a Net Zero Carbon* Bridport by 2030