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Climate crisis: Welwyn Hatfield worst in Hertfordshire

Climate crisis: Welwyn Hatfield worst in Hertfordshire

Published:
11:22 am February 1, 2022



Updated:
9:59 am February 3, 2022

Welwyn Hatfield’s climate action plan has been ranked as the worst in Herts by not-for-profit campaigning organisation Climate Emergency UK.

Climate Emergency UK scored 325 plans according to 28 questions grouped into nine categories, including how well councils’ plans would mitigate the impact of climate change locally, whether climate and ecological emergency was integrated into existing policies, community engagement, climate education, scale of emissions targets and commitments to tackle the ecological emergency.

Three Rivers had a score of 55% and was Herts’ best performing council. Welwyn Hatfield, however, was at the bottom of this list with a rating just 28%.

Paul Zukowskyi, Lib Dem leader, stated that “Despite all of the blustering and noise from the Conservative administration Welwyn Hatfield remains the worst-performing county council.

“This comes as no surprise whatever. There must have been a lot of hot air from Conservative councillors in the council chamber, which only added to the urgency. No substance is the council’s problem.”

“Last Year, at the budget meetings, we proposed an cost-neutral program that would have funded a senior climate emergency officer to move matters forward. The Conservatives said such a post wasn’t needed.

Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats councillors Jane Quinton and Paul Zukowskyj.


Cllr Jane Quinton & Cllr Paul Zukowskyj.

– Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats

“We will propose a new position next week, hopefully the Conservatives will hear us.

“I won’t be holding my breath, though, the Conservatives’ commitment to addressing the climate emergency has never been worth the paper it was written on.”

However, the council believe that the scoring “does not accurately reflect the progress the council has made” since they declared a climate emergency in June 2019 and mentioned a number of schemes they have initiated to promote energy efficiency and sustainable development.

Cllr Fiona Thomson is Executive Member for Housing and Climate Change. She added: “We remain fully engaged to tackling the causes and consequences of climate change and we are in discussion avec CE UK regarding the data used.

“We have a climate change strategy (www.welhat.gov.uk/plans-strategies/climate-change-strategy) on which we surveyed our residents to ensure we had the most robust carbon reduction objectives, and this is being continually reviewed.

“The CE UK website states that it has only evaluated action plans, and not the actions taken by councils to reduce emissions and improve biodiversity. While we don’t underestimate the challenge of tackling climate change, we are confident we’re making important progress in this area.

Results Accessible via the Guardian website, for Hertfordshire

Authority

Score

Rank

Three Rivers

55%

1

St Albans C&DC

53%

2

Hertfordshire County Council

50%

3

Dacorum

44%

4

Hertsmere

42%

5

Stevenage

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38%

6

Watford

36%

7

East Hertfordshire

32%

8

North Hertfordshire

31%

=9

Broxbourne

31%

=9

Welwyn Hatfield

28%

11

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