Purpose of the plan

Cheltenham Zero 2030 logo - countdown to carbon neutral

We strive for Cheltenham to be a thriving and equitable town, ensuring a good life for everyone within the Earth’s natural boundaries.

We want to be a town in which prosperity and wellbeing for everyone comes first. The aspiration for 2030 fulfils our vision for Cheltenham to be a place where everyone thrives:

  • Where all our people and the communities they live in thrive
  • Where culture and creativity thrives, and is celebrated and enjoyed throughout the year
  • Where businesses and their workforces thrive

In line with the Carbon Neutral Cheltenham report, and in support of the above commitments set out in the Cheltenham Place Vision, this Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) has been developed as a framework, to help shape the council’s priorities for climate action across the borough for the period 2022-30. As set out in our corporate plan 2019-2023, achieving a cleaner and greener environment for residents, businesses and visitors is a key priority *4. The CEAP gives us the opportunity to:

  • Communicate our response to the climate and ecological emergency and share good practice
  • Influence and shape the development of strategy and policy for climate at county, regional and national levels
  • Make a positive impact towards the national effort to address climate change
  • Work in partnership to take forward projects and initiatives that reduce the impacts of climate change
  • Set an example to other Local Authorities yet to set a goal and pathway for becoming net zero

We know that waiting to take action is not an option and this pathway focuses on the actions we can take now, and over the coming years, to reach our 2030 target, as well as sharing what we have already achieved.

We expect that further adaptation and changes will be needed as climate innovation and advances in technologies improve our ability to achieve our goals in new and potentially revolutionary ways.

We aim to be at the forefront of these advancements wherever possible and see this as a key element of our climate pathway.

There will be further developments which we cannot yet foresee, such as changes in government policy, the emergence of new technologies and lessons learned through experience. Therefore, although the main goal of the 2030 CEAP will remain the same - that is to become a net zero council and borough by the year 2030 - the action plan will remain flexible and be reviewed and updated annually, taking account of new research, developments, technologies, community needs, and funding opportunities.

Further benefits

Flooding by the Bayshill in 2007In addition to the benefits that achieving net zero carbon emissions will have on climate change, a well-managed carbon reduction programme will also offer substantial positive effects, known as co-benefits, on a wide range of other interrelated issues, including fuel poverty, air quality, health and wellbeing and economic growth.

The work required to meet our climate obligations also means developing climate resilience, which will include:

  • Mitigating flood risk
  • Considering adaptations that reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts
  • Developing a more tightly-knit community
  • Planning for more green and natural space for both people and wildlife.

This presents a great opportunity and necessity for the CEAP to set out a collaborative approach across the borough – a time for multiple partners to join forces to support the council and the town in reaching its ambitious target.