Our Climate Emergency Action Plan

As a council we are committed to working with you to tackle climate change. The opportunity to avoid dangerous levels of global warming is closing and action is required swiftly at all levels from the international to the individual. In making its declaration of a climate emergency in July 2019, the council announced its commitment to taking urgent action and asking others - residents, businesses, partner organisations, and the Government - to help and support us.

Last year, we developed a Climate Emergency Action Plan, in which we set a target of a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year until 2025. This target was set for both the council and for the whole of the district. The plan also outlines how the council will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions within the work that we do, and how we can work together within the district to reduce emissions in the area as a whole. We have consulted with residents, businesses, and other organisations on this plan, which was officially adopted this year.
 

Latest updates on emission reduction targets — October 2021

To keep you updated on emissions from the council and across the district as a whole, we are including updates on the targets set out in our Climate Emergency Action Plan.
 

Progress on the emission reduction target for Chichester District Council:

For this target, October 2018 - September 2019 is the period in which the council declared a Climate Emergency, and so is used as the 'base year' to which all future data will be compared.

  • When comparing the latest reporting period (October 2019 to September 2020) to the previous year (October 2018 to September 2019), the council's emissions have dropped by 17%.
  • The 17% decrease is due in large part to lockdowns associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • There was also a significant increase in the amount of renewable electricity on the national grid in this reporting period compared to the base year. This reduced our emissions from electricity use.
  • The council has a programme of emissions reduction projects, but it will take a while before these projects start to reduce our emissions. We anticipate emissions might rise in the reporting periods following lockdown.


Progress on the emission reduction target for the district as a whole:

For this target, the calendar year 2019 is the 'base year' to which all future data will be compared.

  • Government data, published annually in June, is used to assess progress towards this target. Unfortunately, there is a time lag in receiving these figures, which is due to the complexity of the data gathering process and also because priority is given to assembling the figures for national emissions before figures for local authority areas. As a result, we have just received the 2019 figures that form the base year for the target. We will be able to use this as a comparison for future data we receive, and we will keep you updated.
     

How can I view the Climate Emergency Action Plan and supporting information?
 

The Climate Emergency Action Plan is available to view here, along with the latest update on progress to reach the target set out in the plan:

You can also read the responses from the public consultation:

We have  put together some Frequently Asked Questions about climate change, why this is so important, and to explain some of the terms that are regularly used. You can view this here.


On this page, you can find out more about what we have been doing as a council to help combat climate change in our area, and how you can play your part.

 

What is the council doing about climate change?


Moving to electric vehicles

As a council, our refuse collection fleet is one of our biggest sources of emissions, which is why we will be introducing two electric vehicles next year. The typical diesel refuse vehicle achieves just three to four miles to the gallon and while an electric refuse truck costs almost twice that of a diesel version, we expect that the total costs over the lifetime of the vehicles to be similar to diesel due to their lower running costs.

We're also planning to introduce changes to our waste and recycling collection routes to help reduce mileage.

We've already started switching our other vehicles to electric. We have a couple in our parking services team and we plan to replace more of the team's vehicles in future. A staff Green Travel Plan has been developed, including having two electric vehicles for staff use and two ebikes for work journeys. The ebikes should be available for use in 2021 and the cards in early 2022. Our car parks also have 18 electric vehicle charge points across the district to help residents and visitors who have electric cars.
 

Inceasing our energy efficiency

As well as reducing emissions from our vehicles, we are working to reduce emissions from our buildings. We have installed low-energy LED lighting and we also have solar PV panels on our main offices as well as solar thermal power. This reduces the amount of energy that we take from the power grid, while our gas boilers don't have to be on as much heating water. We are working further to decarbonise the buildings that we own, starting with Westgate Leisure Centre, which is another one of our biggest emission sources.

Our own emissions are just a small part of the district's emissions as a whole, and so we will also be bringing people and organisations together to help them reduce emissions in their homes, their workplaces, and in other aspects of their lives.



Cutting carbon at home

The council has successfully applied for Government funding to improve the energy efficiency and cut the carbon emissions of homes in the district. So far, £268,064 has been spent improving 33 homes with poor energy performance. Householders have to meet certain financial criteria. Further funding has been applied for.

We joined with the county council and other district and borough councils in the county to run a second year of Solar Together, a scheme that enables homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses to purchase high quality solar panels at a competitive price.

 

Tree planting

We've recently launched a new community tree planting scheme to increase tree cover in rural and urban areas across the district. The initiative is part of a £2.5m project with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and we are one of several councils taking part across the country.

This summer, we opened the scheme for giving out free trees and during the current planting season we will be distributing around 8,300 trees to more than 100 successful applicants. These included residents, community groups, landowners, schools, charities, parish councils and businesses. As part of the wider scheme we will also be planting two mini urban forests in public spaces in our district, and funding tree planting
on farms and private land. Although the scheme has closed for this year, a similar scheme will also be running during 2022.

Tree planting is important because plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when they grow. Many plants die back over winter and as the plants rot, the carbon dioxide that they have taken in is released back into the atmosphere. However, some plants, such as trees, hedges and wetlands, do not die back completely, so a lot of the carbon dioxide they have taken in remains locked away. Trees, hedges and wetlands in our district take in surprising amounts of carbon dioxide, but we still need more of these long-term stores. Although trees are usually the focus, we shouldn't neglect other natural stores of carbon dioxide.

You can find out more about our Tree Chichester District scheme on our Tree Chichester District page.

 

Protecting our wildlife corridors

Chichester and Pagham Harbours are connected to the South Downs National Park through a series of wildlife corridors, where woods, hedgerows and streams allow different species to move across the district for food and to breed. Protecting these 'Strategic Wildlife Corridors' is important to ensure the sustainability of future wildlife populations in the district. This project will deliver a range of actions to enhance the corridors and safeguard
the district's wildlife. It will help the district's wildlife become more resilient to environmental change; engage local people with their district's wildlife; and build on the knowledge and expertise of our current Community Wildlife Officer. To find out more about the work we do to help protect our district's wildlife, please visit our biodiversity page.
 

Waste & recycling

This year, we launched a new commercial food waste collection service to help businesses across the district reduce their impact on the environment.

We also trialling kerbside collection of textiles and small electrical items and we have linked up with the Podback scheme to enable residents who use coffee pod machines to recycle their coffee pod containers. We have another pilot running with 'hot bins' - special compost bins that turn garden and food waste into compost much quicker than the average compost bin. For more information, please see the 'recycle as much as you can' section on this page.

We are committed to reducing our use of Single Use Plastics across the council and to promote a reduction in their use across the district.

You can find out more about these schemes on our waste and recycling pages. 
 

Encouraging more walking and cycling

We have produced a 10-year Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which identifies long-term cycling and walking improvements to encourage people to use these as modes of transport.

We are working closely with West Sussex County Council and other partners to work towards delivering these infrastructure improvements, which will include bidding for Government funding and contributions from developers and third parties. As the transport authority, the county council will assess the projects in the LCWIPs produced by the district and borough councils across the county to produce an order of priority for delivery.

You can read the plan by visiting our Local Plan evidence page and going to the document numbered 043.

 

New developments

We are updating our planning policies as part of the Local Plan review to reduce carbon emissions from new developments in the plan area. Full details are available on our Local Plan Review web page.



 

What can you do as an individual?

There are lots of ways in which you can make a difference and we have included a few here.
 

Use a personalised carbon calculator

A good place to start is to calculate your own carbon footprint. This will help you see what impact your home, appliances and travel are having, and help you decide which changes are right for you. compares to the national averages. There are a range of online personalised carbon calculators that offer tailored tips and advice, such as Carbon Footprint Calculator  or Giki carbon calculator.

 

Take public transport or cycle or walk short journeys

By reducing your reliance on cars and taking public transport, walking or cycling, you can make a big difference to your local environment. 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. Please visit  Sustrans website to find out more. There is also lots more information on our cycling and walking pages.

 

Make your home more energy efficient

Generating renewable energy in your own home and making it as energy efficient as possible are two of the biggest things that you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Even small DIY measures, such as fitting a hot water cylinder with an insulation jacket can save you £20 a year in heating and 150kg of carbon dioxide.

You can also save energy in your home by turning off appliances when not in use, replacing light bulbs with low energy ones, turning your room thermostat down by 1°C, and by insulating and draught proofing your home. You can find more general advice on the West Sussex Energy website.  and lots of top tips on the National Energy Foundation's website

  • switching to LED bulbs
  • making sure radiators aren't covered or blocked by furniture so that heat can get into the room
  • installing draught proofing measures like curtains, letterbox and keyhole covers, and chimney balloons to keep the warmth in and the cold out
  • insulating your loft, walls and flooring
  • insulating hot water tanks and pipes
  • not overusing the kettle and only boiling as much water as you need.
  • switching off lights and electrical goods when not in use, and
  • running the washing machine with full loads at 30 degrees on short cycles


There are many grants available to help householders and landlords make homes greener. You can get advice on whether you are eligible for a grant by calling Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice  on 01243 974063 or emailing them on  energy@arunchichestercab.org.uk. This service can also help if you are struggling with energy payments or obtaining grants if you need help with home improvements or repairs.

 

Reduce your food waste and freeze leftovers

Cutting food waste not only helps to save money but it's also a big step in the battle against climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are released at every stage of food production, from farm to fork, so cutting food waste means less of these emissions are released unnecessarily. You can find lots of  tips on the West Sussex Waste Partnerhip website.

 

Recycle as much as you can

Recycling conserves the world's natural resources,  which helps to protect wildlife. It reduces the need to grow, harvest, and extract raw materials and dispose of waste. Recycling means you use less energy on sourcing and processing new raw materials, so you produce fewer carbon emissions. It also keeps potentially methane-releasing waste out of landfill sites. 

As a district, we are already recycling 45% of waste, but it's important we increase this further. Find out if you are eligible for our free textiles and small electricals collection service, or check out our used coffee pod collection service, to see if you are in the trial area.

You can also compost your green waste. As a council, we offer a fortnightly collection service which gives you the chance to recycle your garden waste in a convenient and cost effective way.

You can find out more on our waste and recycling pages.


 

Save water

One of the easiest things that people can do is to save water. On average, people in this area use more water than many other areas. Around a third of gas and electricity used in a typical home goes on heating water for washing, cooking and cleaning, so saving water cuts carbon emissions too. We can all take simple steps such as having a shorter shower and not leaving the tap on when we brush our teeth.

Most of Chichester District's water is supplied by Portsmouth Water and they have a wide range of advice and support available to help customers reduce their water use including free water-efficient devices and the chance to book a free online session with a water-saving expert. Simply visit the website and enter your postcode to find out more.

 

Go electric

If you're thinking of going electric, you can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the Government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. Find out more on the Government's website.

Having successfully bid for grant funding, we installed eighteen new charging points across the district to encourage more people to use electric vehicles and to support existing electric vehicle drivers.

 

Buy locally produced seasonal food and goods

Shopping for local seasonal foods reduces your carbon footprint.

Our Chichester Farmers Market makes local produce available on a monthly basis in central Chichester. 

Please visit:

 

 

What can you do as a business?

As part of our action plan, we're working to help businesses and organisations to develop projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Government has recently launched the 'Together For Our Planet'  small business campaign  to raise awareness of the actions that small and medium-sized businesses can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Our Economic Development team send out regular email newsletters, which include information on grants and financial incentives to help businesses improve their sustainability. District businesses can sign up to receive these updates from our business advice and support page.

 

What can you do as a community?

Sometimes it feels like the actions we, as individuals, take are small compared to the scale of the problem, but if we join with others we can make a big difference. 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!

Check out the grants that are available to help your group make your plan a reality:  West Sussex County Council Funding search facility  . Please also see our Chichester District Council grant programme.