Climate Change Strategy review 2023

We are currently reviewing our Climate Change Strategy. The revised strategy will replace the Woking 2050 strategy which was adopted in 2015. 

At the time of its original publication (in 2015), the year 2050 was added to the strategy’s title in order to provide a link to the national legislation, which was in place at the time of its adoption. The UK’s Climate Change Act sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline and, therefore, this specific year was adopted as our local target. 

In July 2019, the national target was superseded by a pledge to reach net zero by 2050, which was also adopted locally as part of our climate and ecological emergency declaration

The new strategy will set out our continuing climate ambitions across key themes such as energy, waste, transport, the natural environment and more.

Each theme will provide guidance and direction on how we, as an organisation, can play our part to achieve environmental goals and it also aims to encourage residents, businesses and partner organisations to share and action our goals.

Review process

A number of steps have been taken to inform the revised draft strategy:

  • A self-assessment of our existing strategy compared with  good practice examples from other local authorities and guidance, such as Ashden’s 31 Climate Actions for Councils.
  • Woking 2050 has been benchmarked against our score and feedback from Climate Emergency UK’s (CEUK) score cards on local authority action on climate change. Released in January 2022, CEUK’s ‘league table’ scored councils on climate action based on the availability of information on their authority websites and through their climate change strategies. Woking Borough Council scored 70, ranking 10th amongst district councils nationally. A gap analysis has been undertaken to identify what the updated strategy needs to include. 
  • Woking 2050 was adopted before the Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and associated carbon reduction targets, so these are a central focus of the update.
  • The results of the recent corporate carbon footprint assessment, completed in September 2022, have also been incorporated into the update. 
  • The draft strategy will be subject to a six-week public consultation which will start in mid-May 2023. Details of the consultation programme, along with the draft strategy, will be published on our associated webpages soon (climate change, Woking Community Forum and Planet Woking).

The consultation feedback will be reviewed to help shape and inform the new strategy. We anticipate the final document will be adopted in autumn 2023.

Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document (DPD)

Running in parallel to the climate change strategy review, our Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is also under review on behalf of Planning Policy and it will be subject to public consultation in 2023. Further details will be published on the Woking 2027 website in the near future.