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Climate and ecological emergency strategy - Areas for action

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The member-led EAP required thorough investigation and information-gathering to ensure that the strategy produced by Dorset Council was factual and realistic. The primary actions were:

Collate and analyse information from preceding councils to establish baseline data on Dorset Council and the wider Dorset Area regarding carbon emissions to establish an accurate as possible carbon footprint and identify areas for action

Establishing an accurate baseline figure of current emissions of GHG and mitigation measures has been uniquely challenging for Dorset Council as a result of 2019 Local Government Re-Organisation. The 6 proceeding Councils recorded and retained information relating to carbon emissions and sustainability management in a variety of different ways to varying degrees of accuracy leading to considerable difficulties in forming an accurate current picture.

Engage with partners, individual teams and the community to explore key issues, opportunities, identify progress and collate examples of national best practice.

  • a Dorset Council staff workshop was held in October 2019 to facilitate discussion of key issues, identify what was already underway and gather suggestions and ideas for further action 
  • two Inquiry Days were held in February and March (2020) to enable organisations, community groups, individuals, school children and Dorset Youth Parliament to present their ideas to the Dorset Council Executive advisory Panel
  • engagement with consultants, developers and energy suppliers to explore opportunities for renewable energy in Dorset
  • input into major projects with aim of securing low-carbon design and develop policy (for example Weymouth peninsula and building better lives programme)
  • engaged with Town and Parish Councils through a workshop in November 2019  and provided some guidance and ongoing support through Low Carbon Dorset programme
  • sought views from young people through direct representation to the Executive Advisory Panel in December 2019
  • sought views from Dorset residents, via an online ‘Call for Ideas’ (December 2019 to February 2020) leading to nearly 800 responses

A summary of the ideas generated through engagement with local schools and communities through the ‘call for ideas’ process is detailed in the Your Ideas section at the end of this strategy.

As a result of this evidence gathering eight key themes were identified and internal Task and Finish groups established to bring together technical experts and wider stakeholders.

Renewable Energy, Economy, Natural Assets, Food & Drink, Buildings, Transport, Waste, Water.

The theme-based Task and Finish groups were able to explore in more detail the national approach, scientific guidance, the relevance to Dorset Council and the Dorset area, and guide the creation of background technical papers to set out the information gathered and identify and contextualise areas for action.

Each technical paper briefly sets out not only the context but also the key issues and opportunities for action in each of the eight areas. Identifying objectives and areas where Dorset Council will seek to take action or work with wider partners.

Summary versions of these papers are detailed in the following sections, each with a link to the background technical paper. In addition to setting the background, they identify a number of actions which Dorset Council intends to progress and will form the basis for development of more detailed actions plans (see the next steps section).

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