Cheltenham’s response to the climate emergency

CheltZero by 2030 logo - countdown to carbon neutral

Cheltenham Borough Council voted on 9 July 2019 to declare a climate emergency. The motion had three main pillars:

  • To declare a climate emergency in the borough of Cheltenham
  • To set a target of a carbon neutral town by 2030
  • To call on the government to devolve resources and powers to support local efforts

Climate emergency action plan

Our climate emergency action plan: Pathway to Net Zero sets out our aim to achieve the 2030 target by acting holistically as a town, not just as a council working in isolation.

Carbon Neutral Cheltenham report

The Carbon Neutral Cheltenham report sets out in broad terms how the borough could achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  This report set the council's baseline emissions and we will be measuring and reporting on our progress against this baseline on an annual basis.

There are a number of different areas of action already underway to tackle the climate emergency and increase biodiversity in the services we deliver for the community and as an organisation.

The council and its buildings

Find out how, as an organisation, we are already working to reduce our carbon emissions.


Trees are important for improving air quality and the environment in general.  We are working with partners including Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership, Gloucestershire County Council, landowners and businesses to plant trees and we have also been awarded funding from the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund. The Woodland Trust is giving away free trees to schools and communities; visit the Woodland Trust website to find out more.

Sustainable planting

In 2017, we made a decision to phase out seasonal bedding, in favour of herbaceous perennials, in all locations except the Long Gardens and Imperial Gardens. Wildflower meadows have also been planted in the town’s parks and open spaces and at the crematorium.  Perennials and wildflowers help to support increased levels of ecological biodiversity, which is great for bees, animals and insects.  The plants also have a greater tolerance to climatic extremes.  

Keep Warm and Well   

We are working in partnership with the Severn Wye Energy Agency to provide householders and businesses in Cheltenham with advice on how save energy and reduce their fuel bills. The Warm and Well advice line provides free, impartial and local home energy advice to households in Cheltenham, helping people with a range of energy issues; from providing advice about simple measures you can take in the home through to helping people access grants to improve their homes.

Waste and recycling

The council is responsible for collecting the borough’s domestic waste and recycling, a service which is delivered by Ubico Ltd.  We currently enable households to recycle plastic bottles, tubs, trays, metal tins, cans and aerosols, paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, household batteries, small electrical appliances, textiles and shoes, food waste and garden waste. From spring 2021, we will be one of the first councils in the country to expand our recycling scheme to include plastic and aluminium coffee pods. 

You can read more about our waste and recycling services for residents and businesses on our waste and recycling pages. 

Air quality

Air pollution can be harmful to human health and the environment. Smoke, offensive smells and fumes are common types of air pollution which can affect the quality of everyday life.  We have a responsibility to review and assess air quality and to produce an action plan if we are not likely to meet national targets. Read more about what we do to protect air quality.


See how we're working in partnership through CheltenhamZero.