Council joins forces with authorities across UK to tackle climate emergency

21st October 2021


A united front is being presented by 88 local authorities – including Three Rivers District Council – all pledging to do everything within their power to tackle the climate emergency.

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, the council's Leader, has signed the UK100’s Net Zero Pledge, committing the council to reaching Net Zero along with 87 other local authorities, representing over half of the UK population. All these authorities have explicitly committed themselves to neutralising council emissions by 2030 and those of their residents and businesses (area wide emissions) by 2045 – five years earlier that the UK government. 

Ahead of COP26, 23 more local authorities have joined UK100 and pledged to reach net zero early. COP26 is the annual UN climate conference hosted this year by the UK. The move to join other councils comes after Three Rivers already committed itself to reaching net zero by 2030 for its own emissions and assisting the district to achieve the same by 2045. 

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “The Climate Emergency is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, transcending party politics and geographical boundaries.

“As a council we declared our own Climate Emergency in 2019 and earlier this year set out our own Climate Emergency Strategy to work with residents and businesses to tackle climate change.

“But we cannot do it alone. Urgent action is needed at a national level. That’s why as a council we are proud to sign the Net Zero Pledge and work cross party with members across the UK and beyond to accelerate the delivery of climate action.”

The UK has committed to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Net zero is the point at which the country is taking as much of these climate-changing gases out of the atmosphere as it is putting in.

As part of this promise, the government has a target to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, compared with 1990 levels.

Three Rivers District Council declared a climate emergency in April 2019 and approved its Climate Change Strategy in May 2021. The council's Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy sets out how the council can improve and lead by example. It also sets out how the council will work with and assist the residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to reduce their impact on the environment, improve sustainability and also adapt to and build resilience to a changing climate.

Christopher Hammond, Network Membership Director, UK100, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Cllr Sarah Nelmes to UK100’s network. By joining UK100 and committing to bold targets, Three Rivers District Council has demonstrated that it is facing these challenges and playing a decisive role in tackling climate change ahead of the national government’s target.”