Tackling Climate Emergency in Wokingham

Wokingham Borough Council's Leader declared a climate emergency in the borough in May 2019 and the Conservatives have been working hard to develop and put into action a bold and ambitious plan.

Our Climate Emergency Action Plan is full of ideas from residents, town and parish councils, council officers and local businesses. An Executive member position was created and Cllr Gregor Murray is leading the team dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint across the borough and achieve a carbon neutral status by 2030.

There are some really exciting projects. Here are just a few:

· We have an electric vehicle trial which we will be rolling out soon

· We’re planting 250,000 new trees right across the borough

· We are creating a green bank to help residents make their homes more energy efficient,
and exploring how, as a borough, we can move away from carbon fuel heating

· The replacement Dinton Activity Centre we are building right now will be our first entirely
carbon neutral building

· We are going to build two solar farms in the next two years which will not only provide us with renewable energy, but will also
generate money which we will re-invest in our carbon neutral projects. 

These aren’t just plans – these are real projects which you will be seeing very soon.

Our plan is ambitious, but Conservatives are up to the challenge.

We are off to a good start on our goal of having a carbon-neutral borough by 2030; 20 years sooner than the government’s target of 2050. 

We have outlined 8 key action areas and committed £50million over the next 3 years to help reduce our carbon footprint:

  1. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport by reducing congestion, encouraging more electric vehicles and encouraging more sustainable transport options.
  2. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from domestic and business property by creating a ‘green bank’ to help businesses and residents to convert from natural gas to lower carbon forms of energy. 
  3. Generate more renewable energy in the borough by creating five largescale solar farms in the next five years.
  4. Create a Local Plan that specifies net zero carbon construction and infrastructure to ensure major new developments are energy efficient and use low carbon energy.
  5. Increase the levels of carbon sequestration in the borough through greening the environment by planting 250,000 new trees over the next five years.
  6. Engage with young people and support sustainable schools to promote behavioural change.
  7. Reduce waste sent to landfill by reaching a 60% recycling rate this year and a 90% recycling rate by 2030.
  8. Encourage behaviour change by having the council set an example and become net zero carbon on its own estate as well as in its policies,services and investments.



The long road to net zero

We will soon hear of the Earth Summit in April to be set up by the USA. It will be followed by the Petersberg Group on climate change in May and the G7 in June, leading inexorably to the big global UN conference, COP 26 in Scotland in November.

Solar Energy Plans for Barkham

The vision for a net carbon zero Wokingham Borough is starting to look a lot closer now as Wokingham Borough Council shares its ideas for a new solar farm in Barkham prior to submitting a planning application in the next month.   

Fantastic progress building new activity centre at Dinton

Dinton Pastures' new multi-million pound activity centre reached a major milestone on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 January, as modules were lifted into place at the borough’s first net zero carbon building. The centre is set to open its doors to visitors in late spring.

Working to eliminate the use of single-use plastics

Conservative-led Wokingham Borough Council has  reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the use of single use plastics across the borough after successfully overcoming an unprecedented set back due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Thanks to our residents 8000 tonnes of food waste has been recycled

Our residents continue to show strong support for recycling as much, and in as many ways, as they can.  Our food waste recycling services continue to grow in popularity with residents, helping drive up the borough’s recycling rate. We continue to look to improve our recycling service as we aim to hit our goal of a 70 per cent recycling rate in the borough to help make Wokingham carbon neutral by 2030.”

Helping businesses to go green

“This is a great initiative and one that will really benefit local businesses as well as the environment,” said Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency.