Cornwall Climate Emergency Energy Workshop

Earlier this year Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency. According to the Council’s original announcement:

Cornwall Councillors met at the Full Council on the 22 January 2019, where Councillors debated a significant motion on tackling climate change and voted to support the declaration of a climate change emergency.

This was an amendment tabled by Councillor Jayne Kirkham to the motion put forward by Councillor Dominic Fairman calling for ‘Urgency on Climate Change’. The amended motion was agreed by the Council and a climate emergency was declared.

View the minutes of the Full Council meeting on meeting on 22 January 2019

The declaration requires the Council to prepare a report outlining how it can sufficiently reduce carbon emissions through energy and other Council Strategies, plans and contracts to ensure Cornwall works towards carbon neutrality by 2030.

Section CC/381 of the minutes concerning “Urgency on Climate Change” reveals that:

A key element of the planning system was reduced car dependency and a move towards electrification was now government policy to help improve air quality. Other issues included highly energy efficient homes to tackle fuel poverty and well insulated homes also added protection for the vulnerable during heatwaves. Members were reminded that Cornwall was the sweet spot of the UK for renewable energy having the best resource in Western Europe and the best solar and geothermal resource in the UK.

A few days ago there was a lively debate on the topic in the Council chamber. Now as part of the process of drawing up that action plan the Council held an energy strategy workshop at the Penryn campus of the University of Exeter yesterday. Here is my brief report on what went on behind the closed doors of the Green seminar room:

Here too is one of our own suggestions for “reducing car dependency and moving towards electrification of transport” whilst improving air quality in Camelford:

The Camelford Electric Car Club

Apart from improving air quality an electric vehicle club in Camelford would also reduce the number of cars sitting unused in garages and car parks for much of the time. One car club vehicle can result in 10-20 private cars being taken off the road. If you don’t possess a car you’re more likely to indulge in healthier alternatives such as walking or cycling for short journeys. In rural areas with poor public transport car clubs allow people who could never afford a car of their own to make occasional longer trips they would otherwise be unable to, except perhaps by taxi.

Here are a couple of popular potential car club vehicles:

Renault ZOE

Renault ZOE

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

Which would you prefer to drive?

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