Terms of Reference
Terms of Reference for the Climate Action Partnership for Shropshire
These terms of reference are applicable to the establishment of the Climate Action Partnership for the county of Shropshire (SCAP) i.e. including the unitary authority areas of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council. Changes to the terms of reference can be recommended where this may assist the SCAP in effectively and efficiently achieving its mission.
The SCAP is being established by the founding Sponsors listed in Annex A.
Shropshire will become net zero carbon by 2030. Starting immediately, organisations, businesses and communities across Shropshire will participate in a collaborative approach to rapid decarbonisation; large-scale restoration of biodiversity and the natural environment; and the development of sustainable, resilient and inclusive communities and the enterprises required for a sustainable future.
The mission of the SCAP is to achieve a practical zero carbon Shropshire Plan (ZCSP) by the end of 2020 that has the support of the stakeholders of Shropshire for immediate implementation, suitable for the achievement of a net zero carbon Shropshire by 2030.
From January 2021 the mission of the SCAP will expand to overseeing the implementation and updating and refinement of the ZCSP and ongoing engagement with organisations, businesses, communities and local residents to build consensus and support for the actions and achievement of key milestones along the road to net zero Shropshire.
Scope of work
The SCAP will produce a coherent practical plan and coordinated action to achieve the 10% per annum average reduction required from 2019 carbon footprint to reach net zero by 2030. The pace of change required is phenomenal and will be very challenging. The SCAP will engage widely, reaching out as far as possible to include all stakeholders in consultations, working groups and calls for evidence, to ensure the plan produced is suitable for Shropshire and the interests of its communities and enterprises.
There is an opportunity to harness the environmental technologies and entrepreneurship of local firms to build economic success for Shropshire through nurturing new sustainable goods and services that deliver a sustainable future. This Plan will help show where these opportunities arise.
Many other parts of the UK and other countries have developed local plans to achieve net zero and there is an opportunity to capture best practice from elsewhere and bring a suitable plan together.
The overall objective of the SCAP is to achieve net zero carbon Shropshire by 2030. Decisions about how to achieve this objective will be informed by the following principles:
- Global climate justice: Ensuring that any new policies, technologies, products, tenders and procurement aspire to have a positive impact on (and at the very least, do not have an adverse impact on):
- the lives, livelihoods and resilience of communities across the world
- future generations – in Shropshire, the UK and across the world
- Restoring nature:
The ecological crisis is inextricably linked to the climate crisis, posing an urgent threat to humanity and all life on earth. Steps towards net zero carbon need to help restore nature, or at the very least, do no further harm. This will also serve to increase carbon sinks – via land use changes which stabilise carbon stores and increase carbon absorption.
- Adaptation and resilience:
While the scope of this project is limited to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, it is vital that plans take account of the reality that the climate is changing.
Membership/ Persons and organisations involved
A Steering Group will be established to develop and oversee the work programme.
The Steering Group will consider what categories of membership and supporter involvement will be most useful and the duties and benefits that can be offered. Wide membership and support for the SCAP will be encouraged and mechanisms will be established including via a website and social media to encourage dialogue with SCAP supporters.
Membership of the Steering Group will initially comprise those appointed by invitation from the SCAP Sponsors. The SCAP Sponsors will also attend at least the first 3 meetings to provide guidance to the new Steering Group.
The Steering Group will be accountable initially to the SCAP Sponsors. Once formal membership of the SCAP has been established, the Steering Group will be accountable to the SCAP membership and report to members at an Annual General Meeting.
It is envisaged that the Steering Group will comprise a maximum of 25 members.
Decisions will be made by the Steering Group by consensus where possible. Where a vote is necessary this will be by one member one vote, with a casting vote by the Chair in the event of a tie.
Further appointment to the Steering Group will be made by vote of Steering Group members when vacancies arise or when it is determined that this is necessary to achieve a suitable representation of key stakeholders or stakeholder communities.
The Chair and a Deputy Chair will be appointed by the Steering Group members and subject to re-election every 12 months. The Deputy Chair will stand in for the Chair when required.
The Chair, in consultation with the Deputy Chair, will be responsible for ensuring appropriate agendas for meetings suitable for achieving the mission of the SCAP.
The Chair, in consultation with the Deputy Chair, will have authority to appoint additional co-opted non-voting members to the Steering Group where this will be appropriate to help the SCAP achieve its mission.
The Steering Group will consider appropriate categories of involvement and working groups and other interest groups that will help SCAP supporters provide effective input to the process.
Membership of the SCAP will be open to all individuals and organisations with residence, business or other interests in Shropshire, and national organisations of relevance, who affirm a commitment to taking relevant action within their sphere.
The Steering Group will welcome dialogue and input from a very wide range of stakeholders and individuals, and balance wide engagement with reporting deadlines and milestones that need to be achieved.
The Steering Group will also engage with and seek input from across Shropshire communities, businesses, public sector and third sector, as well as across a wide variety of sectors such as education, healthcare, transport, farming, construction, energy generation/distribution and democratic institutions.
The Steering Group will seek ideas, run workshops, set up working groups, gather evidence and communicate with the people of Shropshire and industry peer groups as appropriate to achieve the goals set. The SCAP can establish sub-groups, both indefinitely and on a task-and-finish basis, to progress specific tasks, or assign these to an existing multi-agency group that is well placed to act.
The Steering Group will have a duty to keep SCAP membership under review to ensure good representation and engagement across the communities and organisations of Shropshire.
Supporters will be able to sign up to be registered and kept updated via the SCAP website.
Specific issues to be addressed
Engagement with the communities and interest groups of Shropshire
The Steering Group will have a core duty to reach out to all the main stakeholder groups of Shropshire of relevance and engage with representatives and communities to ensure that what it does is representative and communities are fully considered. This is to ensure that solutions adopted are considered to represent the priorities of the affected communities.
The Steering Group will have a duty to ensure as far as possible that it listens to the voices of under-represented communities and stakeholders. This includes young people, those in poverty and ethnic minorities and takes these into account in the development of the plan.
The Steering Group will seek to capture best practice solutions, recognising that some of the necessary work has already been done elsewhere and there is an opportunity to benefit from this body of expertise and experience. This will be achieved through:
- A process of dialogue and liaison with other similar groups elsewhere in the UK, and
- Use of working groups and industry body networks
- Research and calls for evidence
Clearly defined metrics and reporting progress will be vital. Shropshire’s carbon footprint and associated measures of sustainability will need to be developed and reported annually or at more frequent intervals to help increase visibility on progress and the key challenges to be overcome.
The Zero Carbon Shropshire Plan (ZCSP) Process
Whilst it is envisaged that a ZCSP can be achieved by consensus covering most of the carbon emissions of Shropshire, there will be contentious elements. Time is too short to enable resolution and agreement on the most contentious elements before publication and it is proposed that the following strategy will be adopted to address this:
- The ZCSP will be published with a clear plan setting out specific actions and timescales for all emissions where consensus has been achieved. This Initial Plan will help to ensure that many actions can go forward from January 2021 and not be delayed by more contentious issues.
- The ZCSP will set out clearly those issues where consensus has not so far been possible, with an outline of the different solutions identified and notes to describe the nature of the controversy
- A programme of further evidence gathering, solution development and consultation during the first half of 2021 to allow further plans to be finalised and contentious areas to be narrowed down.
- It is hoped that a Citizen’s Assembly will be held in June 2021 comprising a panel of Shropshire residents selected by suitable means to be representative of the local population to consider solutions to the contentious issues.
- A comprehensive plan to be published during 2021, and further refinement and evolution leading to annual updated plans as the decade progresses towards net zero Shropshire.
The desired outcomes envisaged will include:
- Publication and implementation of a Zero Carbon Shropshire Plan that represents best practice and solutions appropriate for Shropshire, including urgent and early progress consistent with net zero carbon by 2030
- Wide public and stakeholder awareness of the ZCSP project across Shropshire
- Recognition that engagement and input to the Plan and ongoing implementation is vital for stakeholders to ensure their voice is heard and priorities taken into account
- Compilation of a ZCSP that represents best practice and solutions appropriate for Shropshire
- Widespread support for the SCAP and ongoing engagement and feedback to enable continuous refinement and updating.
- High visibility for reporting of and attention to Shropshire’s carbon footprint and progress towards net zero, anticipating annual reductions of 10% from 2019 baseline.
Financial and in-kind resources to achieve the deliverables are to be sought from each of the Steering Group members and wider SCAP supporters to reflect the collaboration. Where necessary, additional resources for specific tasks may be found from other sources.
The Partnership initial timeframe will be to deliver a ZCSP by end December 2020. This will require an initial focus on engagement with stakeholders through working groups and calls for evidence to bring best practice and Shropshire-specific solutions together during the first few months, followed by consultation on a draft to allow publication of the first version of the ZCSP.
The limited timeframe will constrain the extent of consultation possible before publication of the first ZCSP.
Subsequent work will entail, from January 2021, three strands of work in parallel:
- Further engagement and consultation with stakeholders to seek feedback on the plan and ideas for further refinement of the 2021 version.
- Supporting implementation of the ZCSP, monitoring progress and seeking feedback, and
- Ongoing engagement on a sector basis to further refine and evolve plans and develop further practical solutions for implementation
The Steering Group will meet monthly online and also arrange additional meetings as and when necessary.
Attendance at the monthly meetings should include all steering group members or nominated alternative delegates who can stand in for steering group members where absent.
Reporting and Administration
Draft minutes of meetings should be circulated to the steering group within 5 working days of each meeting and published on the SCAP website once approved.
A monthly progress report should be published on the SCAP website.
Jo Blackman, freelance trainer/facilitator and climate campaigner
Mark Fermor, Director of GeoSmart Information Limited, (acting Chair of founding sponsors)
Elizabeth Knowles, Chair of Pontesbury Parish Climate Action Group
Robert Saunders, Vice Chair, Transition Telford
Adrian Cooper, Leader of Climate Action Task Force, Shropshire Council
Dan Wrench, Climate Action Task Force, Shropshire Council
Sam Kirby-Bray, Climate Action Task Force, Shropshire Council
Harjot Rayet, Climate Action officer, Telford & Wrekin Council
Allan Wilson, Deputy Chair of the Shropshire Association of Local Councils