A commitment by Bath & North East Somerset Council will see tens of millions of pounds invested to help tackle the climate and ecological emergency.
The local authority has allocated more than £38million over the next five years to projects designed to drive down carbon emissions.
This includes new funding of £27.4million agreed at its Budget and Council Tax meeting.
Investments will include:
- An additional £9.2m investment in the new state-of-the-art Keynsham Recycling Hub. The new facility, designed to help residents recycle more, will incorporate a range of sustainability measures including on-site renewable energy generation from a 3800m2 solar panel array, with a predicted output of 783kWp.
- £14.2m to modernise waste services to further improve recycling rates.
- £754k to expand the council’s green vehicle fleet.
- £2.3m to refurbish the council’s Commercial Estate, addressing the repair backlog and planning energy efficiency.
- £150k investment in green infrastructure to include the development of a Nature Recovery and Delivery Plan.
- £800k matching contribution towards the new City Region Sustainable Transport Infrastructure projects.
This funding comes on top of more than £11million that was previously allocated in the council’s five-year capital programme to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. This cash will be used for:
- £5.062m for Bath’s Riverline project developing a 10km walking/cycling connection between Newbridge and Batheaston/Bathampton, improving biodiversity, landscaping and green space.
- £1.5m for vehicle upgrades through the financial assistance scheme as part of the Clean Air Zone.
- £2.206m for the development and delivery of Liveable Neighbourhoods to promote healthier, more sustainable communities and reduce car usage.
- £1.736m for Renewable Energy Development.
- £206k for Air Quality Management.
- £561k for Active Travel schemes to encourage more walking and cycling.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel said: “I am delighted that the council has agreed to this significant investment to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.
“Despite challenging financial pressures, it is important we do not lose sight of the pressing need to take action to reduce carbon emissions.
“Time is ticking, we have just eight years to reach our net zero goal. It’s why this investment now is so crucial.”
Over the coming year, the council says it will continue to work with its communities, partners, local, regional and national government to further cut emissions.
The action plan for 2022/23 includes:
- Working with WECA and West of England councils on a regional Climate Emergency Action Plan.
- Addressing skills, supply chain and delivery issues to speed up retrofit.
- Supporting businesses to decarbonise and transition to a low carbon economy.
- Delivering the first Liveable Neighbourhood schemes.
- Implementing the Journey to Net Zero plan.
- Installing solar panels on council properties, including two more care homes.
- Helping to accelerate the delivery of renewable energy.
- Building the state-of-the-art, low carbon Recycling Hub in Keynsham.