New Countryside Climate Network established


Melanie Fryer writes:

I recently learned about a new network that I thought members would find interesting.

A group of rural council leaders have launched the Countryside Climate Network to promote the voice of the countryside in the climate change debate.  This cross-party group of 21 councils has been established by UK100, a network of local leaders that campaigns on climate change.  The 21 councils represent 14.3 million people in total, a quarter of the population (25%) and two fifths (41%) of England by area.

North Yorkshire County Council is a member of the network and its leader ​Councillor Carl Les said: “We are committed to actions, not just words. As an authority, we are already acting to reduce our CO2 emissions and water consumption and minimise waste. We have taken a clear stance to protect North Yorkshire in our joint minerals and waste plan, to encourage sustainable economic growth and to take environmental and social impact into consideration alongside financial factors in our procurement.”

As part of the network’s launch they published an open letter warning that “rural communities are at the front line of feeling the effects of climate change” and that “the countryside offers far more than a place to plant millions of trees to offset carbon emissions”.

The group is chaired by the Conservative leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Councillor Steve Count, who said:

“From Cornwall to County Durham we have decided to take a stand.  We’re frustrated that climate solutions and green recovery packages haven’t found the right balance, largely missing the rural voice”.

“We need a green recovery that works for the two thirds that live outside urban cities and towns”.

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