Climate change - what is the council doing?

Folkestone & Hythe District Council declared a climate and ecological emergency on 24 July 2019, committing to:

  1. Reduce carbon emissions from its own estate and operations to net zero by 2030.
  2. To develop a strategy for Folkestone & Hythe District Council to play a leadership role in promoting community, public and business partnerships for this Carbon Neutral 2030 commitment throughout the district.

A Carbon Action Plan (PDF, 1.23MB) was developed and adopted by cabinet in February 2021. It includes a baseline of the council's current carbon emissions and sets out 33 actions to continue our journey to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030. This will be reviewed regularly.

There are a range of actions, some of which are being progressed while others will take longer to implement. They focus on six key areas - energy, behaviour change, transport, water, contracts and biodiversity/green spaces.

An update of the Carbon Action Plan is currently being finalised.

Progress being made to tackle climate change

Since announcing our commitment to net zero we knew it was not going to be an easy instant fix. Some areas have proved challenging to work out the best way forward. There are 33 actions set out in the Carbon Action Plan divided over the short, medium and longer term for us to tackle as we journey towards achieving net zero by 2030.

Progress made so far

Find out more about what we are doing in our Climate Change and Ecological Emergency briefing notes 2021 and 2022.

The district 

Government figures show that the main sources of emissions from the district come from road travel and domestic energy, with smaller, but still significant, contributions from the industrial and commercial activities. A proposal on the development of a District Wide Carbon Plan was approved by Cabinet 23 March to establish a Carbon Innovation Lab to address the district-wide commitment, building on a similar group that has successfully operated for over two years at the London Borough of Hounslow.

It is recognised that the council has limited direct influence over these factors and is therefore working in partnership the community, business and the public to reduced emissions across the district and seeking to influence the government, Kent County Council (KCC) and other organisations on these issues.

Carbon footprint reporting

The total emissions from the council’s estate and operations in the baseline year 2018/19 were 1,536 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The carbon footprint included scope 1 (direct), 2 (electricity indirect) and some scope 3 (other indirect) emissions. The calculation was done using a methodology based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Our emissions data is collated from across service areas including the council’s owned and controlled combustion sources, combustion of fuels in stationary sources, generation of purchased energy as well as business travel and water. Our individual housing stock and waste services are excluded as we do not have direct control over these. The carbon footprint will be calculated and reported annually in due course.