Transition Chesterfield is a member of the Derbyshire Climate Coalition which formed in early 2019 to call on councils across Derbyshire and Derby to declare a climate emergency and develop action plans.
We have since lobbied both Derbyshire County Council and Chesterfield Borough Council and suggested a number of actions based on Friends of the Earth 33 actions Local Authorities can take on climate change.
In July 2019 Chesterfield Borough Council declared a climate emergency and tasked a working group (with Transition Chesterfield as one of the members) to develop a fully costed action plan by March 2020 and advise on the date by which the borough should become carbon-neutral. The climate action plan was published in February and was agreed at the full Council meeting in February 2020. Transition Chesterfield supports the actions in the Plan but has expressed concern that the Plan lacks ambition and urgency and will not achieve the 13% year on year reduction required by the carbon budget established for the Council by the Tyndall Centre. The Council have since appointed a climate officer, Will Rolls, who started in Autumn 2020. Transition Chesterfield and Chesterfield Climate Alliance have since prepared a report on Chesterfield Carbon emissions and suggested focusing on two key areas: heating homes and driving cars and targeting (1) high users to help them to be more efficient & environmentally conscious and (2) people in fuel or transport poverty, to help them to be more efficient, thus saving money.
In May 2019 Derbyshire County Council failed to declare a climate emergency (the labour motion was amended by the conservatives) but instead produced a climate manifesto. Minutes of the meeting can be found here. Representatives from Derbyshire Climate Coalition have since met with the Leader of the Council and given him suggestions for actions. The County Council have published their corporate climate plan (addressing their own emissions and aiming to be net zero by 2032) but are still working on a framework plan for County-wide emissions. In February 2020 Derbyshire Climate Coalition wrote to all Derbyshire County Councillors as well as leaders of the district councils calling on them to set up Citizens Assemblies. See the letter to DCC here.
In February 2020 Transition Chesterfield also submitted comments on CBC’s draft Air Quality Action Plan. Air pollution contributes to increased mortality equivalent to 59 attributable deaths in Chesterfield each year, and all residents are impacted, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions like asthma. Many of the actions that reduce air pollution also reduce carbon so we are disappointed at the small number of actions and lack of detail in the plan and have made many suggestions for further action. Further good ideas for action have been proposed in Chesterfield Cycle Campaign’s response to draft Air Quality Action Plan.