Climate change and equality at heart of Council policy

Hart District Council has marked two important milestones – declaring a Climate Emergency to address the causes and impacts of the climate crisis and adopting new Equality Objectives for 2021-2023. 

At the full Council meeting on 29 April, councillors committed to becoming a carbon neutral authority by 2035 (brought forward from 2040) and a carbon neutral district by 2040. It also approved the Equality Objectives to help drive equality and inclusion across all areas of the council’s work. 

The moves put the reduction of CO2 and equality at the front and centre of all policies and formal decision-making. 

We will work with partners and local communities to tackle the impact of climate change on our local area, drawing on local, national and global best practice. 

Since April 2012, the Public Sector Equality Duty has required local authorities to publish one or more equality objectives at least every four years.  

Climate Emergency 

The Council has pledged to: 

  • Make Hart District carbon neutral by 2040 whilst bringing forward the current 2040 target to 2035 for areas under direct control of Hart District Council.  
  • Report to full Council every six months setting out the current actions the Council is taking to address this emergency and the plan to measure annual District-wide progress towards meeting the 2040 target.  
  • Meaningfully engage with the local community and to work with partners across the District and County to deliver these new goals through all relevant strategies and plans drawing on local, national, and global best practice.  
  • Actively work with Hampshire County Council and the Government to provide the additional powers and resources needed to meet the 2040 target.  
  • Actively encourage and push for Hampshire County Council to reduce its target for net zero carbon to 2040, acknowledging that 2050 is too far away for such an emergency.” 

Equality Objectives 2021- 2023 

  • To develop a communication and engagement strategy and guidance for the organisation in order to enhance our approach to engagement across the Council and to ensure we hear from our diverse communities 
  • To refresh our approach to assessing the equality impact of policies, programmes and services, to ensure this is integrated systematically into planning and decision-making across the organisation.  
  • To refresh the equality information we hold about our staff and use this, alongside equality information from applicants and best practice from other organisations, in order to identify measures that encourage and support a diverse workforce.