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Home > Environment > Climate change

Climate change

What is climate change and what causes it?

Scientists have developed an understanding of the earth’s climate system through years of observations. We now know that global warming is the result of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.

There is more information about the science and impacts of climate change on the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) website, which advises the government on emissions targets and reports to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How is Suffolk tackling climate change?

The Suffolk Climate Change Partnership (SCCP) consists of Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk, East Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and the Environment Agency, working with other organisations locally including Groundwork Suffolk and the University of Suffolk.

The partners have a shared interest in supporting Suffolk’s communities, businesses and residents to reduce carbon emissions, realise the economic benefits of reducing energy consumption and adapt to the future impacts of climate change with a vision:

“Suffolk wants to be an exemplar in tackling climate change and protecting and enhancing its natural...environment...to be the county with the greatest reduction in carbon emissions”.

In 2019, its local authority members all declared a ‘climate emergency’. Committing to work together with partners, and environmental experts, across the county and region towards the aspiration of making the county of Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030.

This is alongside working towards Suffolk's aspiration to create the greenest county, enhancing the natural and historic environment and responding to climate change. Find out more about the greenest county ambition, its aims and who's involved.

How are we engaging with the challenge at Babergh and Mid Suffolk?

In 2019, we set up an Environment and Climate Change Task Force to look at the climate challenge being faced in the districts.

Following engagement with environment experts the task force made it's recommendations to cabinets in July 2020.

The proposals were unanimously approved forming the two councils' first Carbon Reduction Management Plan, laying down how we will reach the ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, while playing a part in Suffolk's county-wide ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030.

We continue to ensure any initiatives will have a positive environmental impact as part of our ‘business as usual’ operations, basing our next steps on considered expert analysis and advice to ensure we have maximum impact. 

Our decisions remain open to appropriate debate and public scrutiny to ensure any steps we take are as effective and efficient as possible for both our tax payers and communities.

Find out more about the task force, supporting motions and downloadable meeting minutes

What schemes are already in place to tackle climate related issues?

We've already been taking steps to tackle this global issue at local level, including:

Warm Homes Fund

National Grid and Community Interest Company, Affordable Warmth Solution (AWS) launched a £150m Warm Homes Fund to support local authorities to address some of the issues affecting fuel poor households.

Suffolk's councils were successful in being awarded funding for the next three years to install first time central heating systems in fuel poor households.

Find out more about the Warm Homes scheme

Fuel poverty

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires large energy companies to help improve the energy efficiency of domestic homes by discounting the cost of improvement works. This applies to certain households who are struggling to pay their energy bills and are defined as being in fuel poverty.

Suffolk’s councils have jointly published criteria, in a Statement of Intent, enabling them to identify households that would benefit from such improvements under the Government’s ECO flex scheme. Improvements are often fully funded where the household meets particular criteria and is at risk of fuel poverty.

Find out more

BEE Anglia

The Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia programme provides free support to eligible organisations in Suffolk and Norfolk to help them become more energy efficient.

Find out more about BEE

Suffolk Carbon Charter

The Suffolk Carbon Charter is an award recognising carbon reduction measures in Suffolk's small and medium businesses - i.e. those with fewer than 250 FTEs (Full Time Equivalent staff).

More details on how businesses can apply and be accredited

Recycling

In depth information and support to help Suffolk residents reduce their waste with helpful suggestions for how to reduce, reuse and recycle can be found on the Suffolk Recycling Website.

All kerbside waste, when it can't be recycled. goes to the Suffolk Energy from Waste plant which powers more than 30,000 homes.

Improved refuse collections

In 2019, Babergh and Mid Suffolk re-routed its waste collection rounds to ensure our collection service was as efficient and effective as it can be for continued growth.

This enabled us to make our rounds more fuel efficient and reduce our impact on the environment, while offering a better waste collection service for current and future residents.

Head to our waste pages

Tree for Life

To promote the benefits which planting trees brings to communities, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils offer all families a tree to mark the arrival of every new child.

Find out more about the Tree for Life scheme

Paperless billing on bills

We offer residents and businesses the ability to go paperless with their council tax and business rates bills.

Find out how to go paperless

Greenways Countryside Project

Greenways Countryside Project volunteers protect and enhance the countryside, landscape and open space across an area of about 100 square kilometres in and around the town of Ipswich.

Find out more about the project

Government's Green Homes Grant (as part of the Plan for Jobs)

As part of this Government run package, homeowners and landlords in England are expected to be able to apply for vouchers (providing a minimum of two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements) from a £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme from September 2020, to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation that could save some households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills while supporting over 100,000 new jobs for tradespeople and providing more work for skilled employees.

Homeowners will need to fill out an online form for the work to be undertaken, and details of accredited suppliers from the relevant local area will be provided. The supplier will then provide a quote, and once the work has been approved, the Government will provide the voucher at a value of two-thirds of the total cost up to £5,000.

Find out more about the UK Government's Green Homes Grant (see page 12)

How can I help?

Making simple changes like the food you eat and the way that you travel could reduce your carbon footprint.

How can I share my ideas or get support for my community to tackle the climate change challenge too?

We are keen to hear your ideas, suggestions and offers of help.

Please email our climate change team.