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Climate and ecological emergency strategy - Next steps

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This strategy is a start at setting out the general direction of travel that is required within the County. It explains some of the key challenges that we all face in achieving a carbon-neutral Dorset and identifies some of the areas where Dorset Council will endeavour to take action. Achieving our goal will require a shared understanding of the issues and action, by not only the Council, but organisations and individuals across Dorset.

Action has already started in several areas highlighted within this strategy and many initiatives are already in place to mitigate climate change, improve and protect ecology and make Dorset more resilient to climate change. It is clear however, that we need a massive step up in our actions. 

Consult with the public and wider stakeholders

Our next key step in finalising this strategy is to consult the public and key stakeholders in order to gather your views on the approach set out in this document. This will largely take the form of a detailed questionnaire to find out if you think we have this strategy right, have identified the correct areas for action, or whether any points are missing or need further consideration. We intend to do this over the autumn to ensure your views are reflected in the final strategy and help inform our action plans.

Detailed action planning

We will take a project management approach to the delivery of our Climate and Ecological Emergency response. The areas for action within this strategy will therefore be further developed into a detailed plan setting out clear actions to be undertaken by Dorset Council. We will use the ‘Areas for action’ as a basis for this but will also draw upon the actions raised through our ‘Call for ideas’.

Our Action Plan will set out our objectives, specific detailed actions, who in Dorset Council will be responsible, timescales and performance measures. We will also include details of other key partners required to help deliver these actions, the scale of potential carbon savings and the associated co-benefits (health, economy, ecology and resilience).  It is our intention to finalise this strategy with detailed action plans for approval by the Council in the new year (2021). 

Ensuring we stay on track

As noted in ‘Making it Happen’ we will finalise our baseline and monitor and report progress annually against our carbon budgets and ecological indicators. These will be our headline indicators.

We will also monitor and track progress against individual actions within our plan and report progress regularly to Dorset Council’s Cabinet and senior management. Each year we will review and update our action plans and provide an annual report of progress. We will make sure this is widely promoted to residents and organisations in Dorset.   

Things will change. We will be heavily reliant on policy and financial support from the government as well as further technological advancements particularly in the field of hydrogen, battery storage and smart technologies. We will keep track of these rapidly changing developments and adjust our strategy and action plans accordingly.

We will regularly review our overall strategy and approach to ensure it is still relevant and up to date. At a minimum we will update our strategy and refocus as required every 5 years.

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