Welcome to Zero Carbon Shropshire
Formally launched in August 2020, Zero Carbon Shropshire (ZCS) is a not-for-profit organisation set up to represent the communities, enterprises, councils and NGOs of Shropshire, dedicated to ensuring that Shropshire achieves net zero carbon by 2030.
It’s currently constituted as a company limited by guarantee with charitable purposes. Our Charity Commission Registered Charity Number is 1196174.
Bringing together communities across Shropshire through collaboration, knowledge-sharing and empowerment, Zero Carbon Shropshire will support rapid decarbonisation, large-scale restoration of biodiversity and the natural environment, and the development of the sustainable, resilient, and inclusive communities and enterprises needed for a sustainable future.
To achieve this, we have launched a comprehensive plan. We are now in the process of implementing this plan, and supporting residents and businesses to achieve the rapid shift away from fossil fuels that we need.
We’ll work alongside organisations, businesses, communities and local residents to engage, build consensus, and maintain support for the actions and the key milestones along the road to a net zero Shropshire by 2030.
Our membership includes representatives of significant stakeholder organisations from across Shropshire, including:
- Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council, and the Shropshire Association of Local Councils
- University Centre Shrewsbury and the Centre for Sustainable Energy
- Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, and Shrewsbury Business Improvement District
- Midlands Energy Hub and Marches LEP, the Marches Energy Agency, and Shropshire and Telford Community Energy
- Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust
- Arriva Buses, and Sustainable Transport Shropshire
- Environment Agency, and Severn Trent Water
- Wrekin Housing Group
- The NFU, Country Landowners Association, and Shropshire Hills AONB
- Shropshire Wildlife Trust, South Shropshire Climate Action Group, and Green Shropshire
- Shropshire Association of WIs, Shrewsbury Food Hub, local SMEs, and youth representatives.
Most of these organisations have now joined a steering group to oversee the further development of Zero Carbon Shropshire, and alongside businesses we actively encourage individuals from across the county to get involved.
What Cuts are Needed?
To achieve net zero by 2030 we need a 10% per annum reduction from our 2019 carbon footprint and so the pace of change is huge and will be very challenging – but success will mark the transformation of Shropshire to become one of the leading sustainable counties in the UK with a strong enterprise base fit for the future.
The plan being developed in Q3 and Q4 2020 will scope out exactly how the cuts can be achieved. It is helpful to recognise this is not an environmental project, but instead is about setting out what the future sustainable Shropshire looks like and the practical steps to get there in a decade. Decisions will be informed by four guiding principles:
- Global Climate Justice | any new policies, technologies, products tenders, and procurement should aspire to have a positive impact (or at least not negatively impact) the lives, livelihoods and resilience of communities in Shropshire, the wider UK, and globally
- Restoring Nature | the ecological crisis is inextricably linked to the climate crisis and so we need to help restore nature (or at the very least do no more harm). This will also serve to increase carbon sinks to stabilise existing stores of carbon and to increase absorption of additional carbon
- Adaptation and Resilience | while the scope of the project is reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, it’s vital that plans take account of the reality that the climate is changing, so all solutions must be resilient and sustainable
- Sustainable Shropshire will draw on local solutions from local enterprises and promote the growth and success of a Shropshire economy based on the products and services that a net zero world will need, promoting the opportunity for sustainable economic growth of our lovely county.
Why The Urgency?
Available data suggests that last year Shropshire county was responsible for net emissions of over 4 million tonnes of carbon-equivalent of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Around 40% of local emissions were from transport, 33% from industry and the remainder from domestic housing, and a very significant part of our footprint has been outsourced to overseas suppliers. UK residents are responsible for twice the global average carbon footprint and immediate action is imperative. The Paris Agreement showed a global consensus that action is required to keep below 1.5 degrees centigrade increase of average temperatures from pre-industrial levels, and every year the United Nations reports that emissions are still rising and global net emissions have to decline sharply by at least 45% from 2010 levels by 2030. This means that locally more radical steps are now required and by this time next year, Shropshire needs to turn the corner and demonstrate significant reductions.
What Needs to Happen?
The good news is that about 80% of the reduction we need is within the power of Shropshire’s producers and consumers to achieve if we work together to a common plan. The remainder will rely on national government. By developing and adopting a common plan for our county, Shropshire can respond to this emergency.
Zero Carbon Shropshire have developed a comprehensive plan for addressing this through a process of community engagement and consultation on the technical, economic, environmental and social factors relevant to achieving net zero.
So how can you help? You can sign the pledge to support our mission and embark on your own journey towards living a more sustainable, environmentally-conscious lifestyle, as well as contributing in lots of other ways. Specialists, local enterprises and NGOs can also sign up as members and contribute to the working groups and consultations.
We have a number of working groups who specifically cover community engagement, carbon reporting and tracking, and the development of plans for land use and biodiversity – as well as buildings, energy consumption and resources, and transport. There are opportunities to get involved in this work if you’re a specialist or have an interest, so do get in touch.
“We are rapidly approaching a point of no return. Since my birth in 1960 we’ve seen a quadrupling of CO 2 – from under 10 billion tonnes per year to nearly 40 billion today. As a father and a grandfather I can no longer stand by and do nothing. We are truly in last chance saloon, and as a long-standing member of the business community and a local resident I know that we have the know-how, and local enterprises with the solutions, to make the change that’s needed. Great work is already being done, but what has been lacking is a practical plan where the choices can be brought together and decisions made in the best interests of Shropshire.”
Mark Fermor | Chair of Founding Sponsors Group
“SCAP’s mission is to bring together all of the diverse groups and initiatives into a coherent plan so that we can join up our efforts and have a plan that gives confidence for Shropshire residents. It will also give confidence to Shropshire enterprises that they need to invest in the right products and services to meet the local demand, and SCAP provides an excellent opportunity for these firms to showcase their solutions, invest in training and equipment for the future, and succeed in the local marketplace.”
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council Cabinet member responsible for climate change
“As a Council we are committed to becoming net zero carbon by 2030, but it is important to establish how this can be achieved for Shropshire as a county. The establishment of the Climate Action Partnership is an important step forward and Shropshire Council fully supports it.”
Mandy Thorn MBE, Chair of the Marches LEP
“The Marches LEP recognises the important role that businesses will play in delivering a sustainable, green and net-zero economic recovery from COVID-19. This partnership will build on the strength of this sector locally, to further drive environmental improvements and boost the quality of our local natural environment.”