Declaration of a Climate Emergency

In July 2019 Chichester District Council declared a Climate Emergency. The opportunity to avoid dangerous levels of global heating is closing and action is required swiftly at all levels from the international to the individual. In making its declaration the council is making clear it commitment to taking urgent action and asking others - residents, business, partner organisations, and national government to help and support us.

We have drawn up a new Initial Action Plan, with a renewed focus on reducing carbon emissions within the district and within our won operations. The council has also approved funding for a new Climate Change officer to lead on the implement the Action Plan.

Climate change matters. Global heating 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 affect seasonal activities and food sources.

What is the district council doing about climate change?

The Initial Climate Emergency action plan 2020-2025 is downloadable below. The priority areas for action are:

  • Implementing a funding scheme to support energy efficiency measures and new Renewable energy in the District.
  • Updating our planning policies, as part of the Local Plan review, to reduce carbon emissions from new developments
  • Minimise our carbon emission as an organisation
  • Reduce food waste and divert it from landfill
  • Increase tree planting across the district
  • Improve sustainable transport links, especially walking cycling and electric vehicle charging networks

This initial plan will soon be replaced by a full Action Plan. The action points will remain but project milestones and more detailed targets will be added.

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, see  Carbon Footprint Calculator  for a simple to use calculator

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 the page on Warmer Homes
  • 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. Further updates on this will be posted as the Climate Emergency Action Plan develops further.
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