Pathway to net zero

Our Climate Emergency Action Plan: Pathway to Net Zero (CEAP or ‘Pathway’) sets out our aim to achieve the 2030 target by acting holistically as a town, not just as a council working in isolation.

You can view the document as a flip book below, download the PDF or read the plan in the following web pages.


Cheltenham Borough Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and committed to becoming a carbon neutral council and borough by 2030.

This declaration was quickly followed by our Carbon Neutral Cheltenham report, published in October 2019, which provides the council with a set of indicative actions to reduce its own carbon footprint to net zero, as well as that of the wider borough. The council recognises that it cannot achieve this change alone and welcomes the opportunity to pursue a collaborative cross-community approach to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

This pathway was prepared by the council’s climate emergency team and developed in conjunction with relevant stakeholders. Climate action plans from local authorities are already paving the way on the climate agenda and served as a basis for this pathway, but a special thanks must be made to Friends of the Earth for their ‘Climate Action Plan for Councils’ 50-point plan 5, which has been instrumental in guiding the development of this Pathway.

It is well evidenced that climate action has a range of wider benefits for the health, equity and prosperity of towns and their citizens. This plan therefore also considers the wider advantages of achieving net zero carbon and how we can ensure these benefits are engrained in the fabric of our aspirations.

Outlined in these pages are the key steps needed to push forward this vast agenda and strive to achieve the 2030 goal. We have collated our actions based on eight categories to help provide focus to the broad impact of the climate emergency. The emerging programme from CEAP will be monitored on an annual basis up to 2030, with interim milestones, to ensure that the targets remain on track whilst the council continues to be dynamic to adapt quickly to market changes alongside any relevant new research, insights and innovations.

This pathway goes above and beyond the ambitions set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act, which committed the UK to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Although, this target was made more ambitious in 2019 when the UK committed to reaching ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050, CBC’s aim is to reach the target 20 years earlier than this.

However, since Cheltenham’s Climate Emergency declaration called for the devolution of power and funding to local areas, financial pressures on local areas, specifically Local Authorities, have significantly increased.