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Tackling climate change issues

Since about 1900, the average near-surface temperature of the planet has increased by 0.75°C and the UK's sea level has risen by about 10cms.

Further global rises are expected, as well as more extreme weather events like flooding and droughts.

Most world scientists agree that the warming and changes we are seeing in our climate are being caused, at least in part, by human activity through the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.  Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) help to trap some of the sun's radiation within our atmosphere. Without this greenhouse effect the surface temperatures of our planet would be -18°C.  However it is the rate of this warming that is of such global concern. Current thinking indicates that there is a tipping point (+3 to 4°C) and if exceeded the climate could become out of control leading to erratic and even more un-predicable weather events.

The response to climate change falls into two broad areas:-

Mitigation:

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions thus reducing the effects of climate change e.g. investment in clean renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Adaptation:

Ways in which we can adapt to counter the impact of climate change e.g. reducing water use, investing in flood defence measures.

What can I do?

Whilst climate change is a global issue, there are many actions that can be taken at a local level. Individuals are responsible for about 40% of UK emissions.  The biggest sources are energy use in the home, driving and air travel.  Actions and investment now will help us to protect our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Reducing your carbon footprint is not as difficult as you may think and can include simple steps such as buying energy-efficient electrical products, turning off the lights or cycling to work instead of using your car.

Many of these steps will also save you money. For more tips on how to reduce your impact on the planet read our leaflet - "How can I shrink my carbon footprint?".

We must also 'climate proof' our local infrastructure and services because our past behaviour means greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere and will not peak for many decades. Practical measures including making homes more flood resilient, harvesting rain water, planting more trees to provide shade and trying out new crops.

What is the council doing?

We recognise that it is important for us to put our own house in order and have therefore developed a Carbon Management Plan to reduce our carbon emissions by 20% by 31st March 2014.  By reducing our carbon footprint, we save energy resources and reduce the harmful effects on our environment.

Our greenhouse gas emissions fell by 19.4% in 2014/15, with a cumulative financial saving of £683,443 since April 2008.

Practical measures that we have already taken include:-

Our local activity on adaptation has focused principally on supporting the £45 million tidal barrier, which will reduce the chances of flooding in the town six-fold, improving green infrastructure through tree planting, investing in rainwater harvesting and promoting local food growing.

Related documents

Size Name
[567kb] Carbon Management Plan Carbon Management Plan
[313kb] Carbon Management Plan Update 2014 - 2016 Carbon Management Plan Update 2014 - 2016
[368kb] Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report April 2016 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report April 2016
[327kb] Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2014 - 2015 Boston Borough Council August 2015 (2) Greenhouse Gas
[865kb] SUSTAIN Lincs - Resource Efficiency Business Support - PECT flyer Climate Change
[342kb] How can I shrink my carbon footprint How can I shrink my carbon footprint?

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.