Issue details

20/00078 - Kent County Council net-zero emissions target proposal



The Cabinet Member for the Environment agrees to an accelerated net-zero emissions target to be achieved by Kent County Council by 2030. To be delivered by investment in line with the supporting action plan. This target to be applied to its own estate and operations (excluding schools) and those of its traded companies.




To discharge the request made by County Council in May 2019, following the approved motion to acknowledge a Climate Emergency and support a net-zero emissions target of 2050 for the county. The motion also included that by May 2020, KCC would set an accelerated net-zero target for its own estate and operations and those of its traded companies.


In response to the Climate Emergency, the UK government revised the Climate Change Act 2008 in 2019. This introduced into law the UK target of net-zero emissions by 2050. This Act requires local authorities to act to reduce emissions both from their own operations and their geographical area. In addition to setting an organisational target to deliver net-zero emissions, KCC has led on the development of the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, which is due to be considered for approval by the Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee on 17 July 2020. The KCC net-zero action plan supporting the target is derived from the high-level action plan included within this new multi-agency and cross-county Strategy.



·     Seek to achieve net-zero by 2030 – this approach is possible using the balanced scenario approach.


·     Seek to achieve 80% reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050 – this aligns closely with the science-based evidence, however this would not be considered as accelerated action as per the motion agreed in May 2019.Tthis would not be aligned with other local authorities in Kent and Medway who have almost all declared a target of net-zero by 2030 or earlier.


·     Seek to achieve net-zero by 2050 – this would not be considered accelerated action as it is the same as the UK target.







Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/07/2020

Decision due: Not before 16th Sep 2020 by Cabinet Member for Environment
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days in accordance to statutory requirements

Lead director: Stephanie Holt-Castle

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Christine Wissink, Head of Sustainable Business and Communities 03000 413482 Email:


The proposed decision was considered and endorsed at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 15 September 2020.

Financial implications: To achieve net-zero by 2030 would require investment in the region of £27 million with an estimated return of £96 million by 2050. The break-even point at which cumulative savings and income match the level of investment is expected to be 2030. Funding is expected to be from a variety of sources and this includes existing KCC-Salix Finance funded energy efficiency investment funds and ERDF grant funding secured,

Legal implications: Setting of an accelerated net-zero target and implementing an action plan will exceed the requirements of the 2019 revision of the Climate Change Act 2008, which introduced into law the UK target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Equalities implications: Equalities implications - The target and supporting action plan has been derived from the activity to develop the Kent & Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy. The EQIA completed in support of this Strategy is relevant. There are no significant negative impacts identified. There are likely to be more positive equality impacts than negative, particularly for Age, Maternity, Carers and Disability. Where staff policies need to be reviewed or changed to align with the net-zero target, specific equalities considerations will be assessed at that time. Data Protection implications - A Data Protection Impact Assessment is not needed as this Strategy does not require the processing of personal data.


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