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  • The Rother Alliance

Climate Progress - the road to carbon neutrality in Rother

In 2019, following the formation of the 'Rother Alliance' coalition administration, Rother District Council declared a Climate Emergency. As part of this declaration, a steering group was set up to oversee the creation of an Environment Strategy that would see Rother become carbon neutral by 2030.

With other councils choosing less ambitious targets, the 2030 target chosen by Rother is a big ask but one that is recognised as being important scientifically in preventing the climate crisis from getting worse.

At the time of publishing, it is 2021 and there are less than 9 years until that 2030 deadline, so what have Rother done so far? In answering that question, portfolio holder Cllr Kathryn Field notes that Rother have taken important steps forward but there is still more to do;

"There is a huge amount to do, not least benchmarking so we can have really effective targets, but much has been achieved in the first 2 years. It is important to remember that many of our actions are 'work in progress' but there’s no going back. We are fully committed to this.”

Some of the achievements to date include;

  • Ending the use of fossil fuel derived electricity in the town hall.

  • Implementing a paperless pledge to reduce the amount of paper used by councillors and staff.

  • Continuing the use of remote meetings for councillors and staff where possible to reduce emissions.

  • Installing solar panels wherever possible.

  • Commencing town hall 'renaissance' plans with a focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

  • Forming 'Alliance Homes (Rother)' to build houses to high environmental standards.

  • Progressing the award-winning Blackfriars housing development in Battle, Alliance Homes' first major development, that plans suggest will have housing 31% more sustainable than required by government.

  • Reviewing all of the council's planning policies to enable high environmental standards to be required for developments.

  • Distributing grants to local environmental projects through our grant scheme.

  • Enabling staff and councillors to complete a carbon literacy training course.

In 2 years, these accomplishments are not a bad start, demonstrating Rother's commitment to carbon neutrality. As the strategy continues to unfurl, expect to see more bold schemes and decisive actions being implemented to help combat the climate emergency.

You can read more about Rother's Environment Strategy here or read previous articles here.


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