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Supporting parishes to take action on climate change

A special workshop is being held to support parishes across Bath and North East Somerset on their journey to carbon neutrality.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is hosting the free, day-long, online event to help town and parish councils develop an action plan to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate and ecological emergencies in their local area.

Representatives from twelve parishes in B&NES have already signed up for the event on Thursday 26 November, but more places are still available.

Councillor Sarah Warren, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “When the council declared a Climate Emergency last year, we pledged to provide leadership to enable the district to become carbon-neutral by 2030. If we are to achieve this aim, we must support organisations to take action and embed change. Town and parish councils will play a key role, not only by setting an example and providing leadership themselves, but also by providing a focal point to stimulate practical, grassroots action in their area.

“This workshop is a great opportunity to understand what the climate and nature emergency means at a local level and will provide parishes with tools that will help support positive change in their communities.”

Nine parish and town councils in Bath and North East Somerset have formally declared a Climate Emergency and others are rising to the challenge of helping reduce area-wide carbon emissions:

  • Keynsham Town Council has formed an Environment and Sustainability Committee, formed from town councillors, members of Keynsham community groups, traders, businesses and Churches Together that all have an interest in climate emergency issues. This Committee will work together to develop and oversee action.

  • The Chew Valley Forum has established a Climate and Nature Emergency working group, involving around 20 people from nine parishes, to share best practice and work out where they can work together to drive down carbon emissions more effectively.

  • Freshford Parish is about to hold a series of online climate sessions.

All parishes are invited to take part in the workshop which will include an introduction to the Climate Emergency and the scale of action needed to address it. Discussion will focus on local impacts, communicating with residents and building an action plan. There will also be on online ‘Exhibition Hall’ with stalls from local providers, projects and schemes.

The workshop is being delivered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council as part of the council’s climate emergency programme. Bradford on Avon Town Council, who have also declared a Climate Emergency, are supporting the event so that the parishes neighbouring Bradford on Avon and B&NES can join the workshop and benefit from working together on the challenge of meeting the carbon neutral target.

Councillor Dom Newton, Leader of Bradford on Avon Town Council, said:“The Bradford on Avon area shares a long boundary with Bath and North East Somerset, and many travel between these towns and villages every day, sharing a river valley and habitats. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are at a critical point, and do not recognise county borders; they affect the whole planet. While the task can seem daunting, if we work together and share ideas, we can have a hugely positive impact.”

To take part in the workshop parishes should register on Eventbrite.

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