Climate Emergency Summit is a big hit with businesses

Representatives from more than 100 businesses came together this week to discuss how Somerset’s business community can help tackle climate change.

The Climate Emergency Business Summit was part of the cross-council work to develop a Climate Emergency Strategy, aiming to identify ways for Somerset to work towards being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapt to predicted climate change impacts.

Hosted by Somerset County Council on behalf of all the county’s local authorities, the sold-out event at Taunton Rugby Club heard presentations from local business leaders about how they are addressing the issues of carbon reduction, sustainability and climate change.

Key speakers included Richard Clothier, Managing Director, Wyke Farms in Bruton; Verity Sparks, Managing Director of Taunton-based Sparks and Daughters; and Paul Coombs, Vice President of Facilities, at Leonardo UK in Yeovil.

Delegates took part in workshops to share their thoughts and come up with ideas to tackle key issues. The event formed part of the consultation process on the cross-authority, county-wide Climate Emergency framework document and will help inform a Climate Emergency Strategy later this year.

Everyone with an interest can give their views and help shape the strategy through two online surveys that have already seen more than 2,000 people get involved.

An online questionnaire open until 25 February and can be found here

A separate survey for 11 to 18-year-olds closes on 18 February and can be found here

You can also attend drop-in events which are open to residents, businesses and groups. They are a chance to discuss the initial thoughts of the five councils set out in a ‘framework’ document.

The first event held in Taunton library attracted nearly 300 people. The other events will be held on Saturdays, between 10am and 4pm at the following venues:

  • 8 February, Sedgemoor District Council. The Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR.
  • 15 February, Mendip District Council. The Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.
  • 22 February, South Somerset District Council. Vicarage Street Methodist Church, Vicarage Street, Yeovil, BA20 1JB.

Run by the Somerset Climate Action Network (SCAN) on behalf of Somerset’s four District Councils and the County Council, the events are collecting people’s views with a range of interactive tools including a temperature gauge, a thought tree and some drawings. Information gathered will be used to inform Somerset’s Climate Emergency Strategy.

Early in 2019, all Somerset Local Authorities either declared or recognised a Climate Emergency and committed to developing a Strategy to identify ways that Somerset can become carbon neutral by 2030.

You can find more detail online