Climate change

Introduction

Our climate is changing rapidly, at a rate never seen before, because of human activity. We must plan for this change and together take action to reduce our contribution to it. Planning for this change is referred to as 'adapting to climate change' and reducing our contribution to climate change is know as 'mitigation'. Both of these actions are of equal importance. Climate change matters. Global warming isn't simply everywhere getting warmer; it will bring serious problems and some benefits. Our planet's climate is a complex system of land, sea, ice, wind and rain. The earth is warming at a faster rate than ever before, throwing this system out of balance.

In the south east of England we expect climate change to lead to hotter drier summers, warmer wetter winters, higher sea levels and an increase in extreme events, such as heat-waves, droughts and flooding. The effects of climate change will be wide and far reaching. There is likely to be water shortages at times and an increased risk of flooding from urban drainage overload, rivers and streams, and in coastal areas. Trees, plants and wildlife will also suffer from the effects of climate change, as their habitats change and weather patterns effect seasonal activities and food sources. We are likely to see road and rail network disruption, and electricity and gas shortage if services don't adapt. The effects of extreme temperatures on our health could have an impact, especially on the old and young. New diseases and parasites will emerge in this country, bringing problems for humans and animals alike.

This all sound rather serious, and it is. But we can all make changes to our lifestyles to reduce our impact on the environment, which will effect the extent to which the climate changes. We can plan for the effects of climate change, so we are better able to cope.

What is the district council doing about climate change?

For the last two years, Chichester District Council has been part of Your Energy Sussex, a partnership between Sussex authorities and Carillion.  The partnership is led by West Sussex County Council and its aim is to work with residents and businesses to create warm, healthy, energy efficient homes and reduce the impact on the environment by lowering carbon emissions.

The partnership is investing in energy saving and renewable energy  and delivering a range of projects, including large scale building refits, solar PV programmes and support to residents and communities.

The partnership works with local accredited suppliers, creating jobs and opportunities for the Sussex workforce.

For more information visit the Your Energy Sussex Website .

Chichester District Council is undertaking a number of additional projects and initiatives across its services which reduce its carbon emissions or assist in adapting the District to climate change.  These are brought together in our updated Climate Change Action Plan.

Climate Change Action Plan 2016 - 2020

 

What can I do to prevent climate change?

A good place to start is to calculate your own carbon footprint, to see what impact your home, appliances and travel are having and to see how this compares to the national averages, visit the Act on CO2 website.

Here are some actions you could take...

  • Save energy in your home by turning off appliances when not in use, replacing light bulbs with low energy ones, turn your room thermostat down by 1°C, insulate or draught proof your home. See the Energy Efficiency web pages for more information about any of these actions.
  • For information on local insulation grants and whether you might be eligible see 'Reduce your energy bills with Sterling Assist' page.
  • Buy locally produced seasonal food and goods. For information on Chichester District Farmers' Markets visit the Farmers' Market pages and the Sussex Food Finder website.
  • Cycle or walk short journeys, use public transport or car share where possible. Many organisations offer tax breaks on the purchase of a new bicycle. Check with your employer to see if you are entitled to a discount.
  • Recycle and compost more of your waste. For information about waste and recycling visit the Waste and recycling pages or the Recycle Now website.
  • To join the Green Bin Composting service which operates in most of the District visit the Garden waste page.
  • Consider generating your own renewable energy from your home.

What can my community do to combat climate change?

Sometimes it feels like the actions we, as individuals, take are small compared to the scale of the problem. This is not necessarily the case; if we join with others we can demonstrate what a difference we can make. Joining an existing environmental group, or starting one up, can be a great way to meet new people, get to know your neighbour and have fun along the way!

There are a number of grant schemes aimed at helping communities installing renewable technologies into community buildings. As new grant schemes are available from time to time, we also recommend you complete a grant search using the  West Sussex County Council Funding search facility .

What can my school do?

The Eco-Schools programme provides a simple framework to enable your school to analyse its operations and become more sustainable. For more information about the national scheme visit the  Eco-Schools website .