We have responded to a consultation on the Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy. We support this initiative as a start on the vital task of combatting climate change and meeting the legal requirement for the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In our response we have set out our view of the additional measures that must be taken.
CPRE Hertfordshire considers that as the full strategy evolves it should include rigorous baseline studies and targets. The current wording indicates undue reliance on existing policy, technological change and future government direction.
CPRE The countryside charity, last year joined a national coalition calling for urgent action on the climate emergency. Our report ‘Greener Better Faster’ said the UK should meet net zero emissions as soon as possible with a target of 2045 at the latest.
The production of local climate action strategies can provide a ‘bottom up’ method of setting out ‘locally determined contributions’ to the national net zero target by 2050. The county council has a major leadership role for Hertfordshire in this urgent work.
The Sustainable Strategy must comprise a credible carbon reduction strategy that aims for net zero as soon as possible. It should value and regenerate the countryside, and be aligned with a land use planning and transport strategy that emphasises place regeneration, walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods, low car dependency and traffic reduction. Technically, the strategy will need to provide a clear pathway to decarbonisation of Hertfordshire including baseline evidence, carbon budgets by sector, emission reduction targets and identifiable markers.
Here is our full response.