AN AMBITIOUS plan to put the environment at the heart of Wychavon district’s Covid-19 recovery has been backed by councillors.
The Wychavon Intelligently Green Plan was approved by council on Wednesday and builds on the athority’s strong track record on tackling climate change over more than a decade.
The plan contains more than 50 actions, ranging from changing the way homes are heated and powered to encourage more sustainable travel.
Among them are trialling electric vehicles to collect rubbish and recycling, reducing household waste and creating ten hectares of new wetland to capture carbon.
South Worcestershire Development Plan policies should be changed to encourage the development of new low carbon homes and retrofit schemes for existing properties.
More electric vehicle charging points, a bike hire scheme and working with taxi drivers to encourage the take up of electric vehicles are also part of the plan.
And Wychavon will also be investing £100,000 over four years to support the growth of the low carbon economy and support the creation of new ‘green’ jobs.
Among the impressive targets are to reduce Wychavon’s own carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 – from 3,066 tonnes to 767 tonnes – and to halve them across the district in a decade’s time.
That would then be built on to net zero carbon by 2050 at the latest.
Wychavon’s low carbon economy should be doubled and renewable energy tripled by 2030.
Another aim is to capture at least 500 tonnes of co2 every year by 2025 through restoring, enhancing and creating a range of habitats across the district.
Wychavon is also joining ambitious leaders from other, mainly rural, councils by signing up to the Countryside Climate Network and the UK100.
This pledges to make sure the district’s towns and villages are powered by 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.
Coun Emma Stokes, Wychavon’s Executive Board Member for Environment, said although it was ambitious, it was also realistic to ensure the targets would be reached.
“We cannot do this alone though and the support of our partners and communities will be crucial to bring about the change we need to protect our planet.”
Coun Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, added: “Tackling climate change is not just a threat, it’s also an opportunity.
“An opportunity to grow new sectors of our economy and create new jobs, which will be crucial as we begin to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our new Intelligently Green Plan ensures that as we build back better, we will do so with the environment at the heart of our recovery.”
The plan will be available to view in full at www.wychavon.gov.uk/intelligentlygreen