Transition Chesterfield is a member of the Derbyshire Climate Coalition which formed in early 2019 to call on councils across Derbyshire and Derby to declare a climate emergency and develop action plans.
We have since lobbied both Derbyshire County Council and Chesterfield Borough Council and suggested a number of actions based on Friends of the Earth 33 actions Local Authorities can take on climate change.
In May 2019 Derbyshire County Council failed to declare a climate emergency (the labour motion was amended by the conservatives) but instead produced a climate manifesto. Minutes of the meeting can be found here. Representatives from Derbyshire Climate Coalition have since met with the Leader of the Council and given him suggestions for actions. The County Council have published their corporate climate plan (addressing their own emissions and aiming to be net zero by 2032) but are still working on a framework plan for County-wide emissions. In February 2020 Derbyshire Climate Coalition wrote to all Derbyshire County Councillors as well as leaders of the district councils calling on them to set up Citizens Assemblies. See the letter to DCC here.
In July 2019 Chesterfield Borough Council declared a climate emergency although did not set a date for the borough to become carbon neutral. Instead they tasked a working group (with Transition Chesterfield as one of the members) to develop a fully costed action plan by March 2020 and advise on the date by which the borough should become carbon-neutral. The Climate Working group was formed in October 2019 following an application process. Transition Chesterfield has representation on the working group as does Chesterfield Cycle Campaign and Plastic-Free Chesterfield. The group has held five meetings between Oct 2019 and Jan 2020. The climate action plan was published in February and will be discussed at the full Council meeting on 26 February 2020. Transition Chesterfield supports the actions in the Plan but has expressed concern that the Plan lacks ambition and urgency and will not achieve the 13% year on year reduction required by the carbon budget established for the Council by the Tyndall Centre. Transition Chesterfield are organising a public meeting on 12 March 2020 to discuss the plan and what further actions the Council and the community can do.
In February 2020 Transition Chesterfield also submitted comments on CBC’s draft Air Quality Action Plan. Air pollution contributes to increased mortality equivalent to 59 attributable deaths in Chesterfield each year, and all residents are impacted, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions like asthma. Many of the actions that reduce air pollution also reduce carbon so we are disappointed at the small number of actions and lack of detail in the plan and have made many suggestions for further action. Further good ideas for action have been proposed in Chesterfield Cycle Campaign’s response to draft Air Quality Action Plan.