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Durham County Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on Feb. 20, 2019.

Council only pledge for 2030

“Immediately adopt a new Durham County Council target of 60% [carbon reduction] by 2030(i) making significant progress towards making Durham County Council and County Durham carbon neutral taking into account both production and consumption emissions.”

Whole area pledge for 2050

“Investigate what further actions are necessary to make County Durham carbon neutral by 2050 and pledge to achieve this.”

Climate documents

Last update: March 16, 2022

Climate Plan Scorecard

This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

SectionDurham County CouncilAverage single tier council
Total score58%50%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
16/21
10.3/21
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
10/18
9.0/18
Section 3 Commitment and integration
6/7
4.1/7
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
4/9
5.1/9
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
4/5
2.9/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
4/4
2.2/4
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
0/5
0.9/5
Section 8 Education, skills and training
2/5
2.3/5
Section 9 Ecological emergency
1/4
2.1/4

Emissions data

2180.7 ktCO2

Total 2019 emissions

4.1 tCO2

per person

1.0 ktCO2

per km2

7%

Commercial

38%

Domestic

17%

Industry

5%

Public Sector

34%

Transport

Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities.

These councils are the most similar to Durham County Council in terms of emissions profile, deprivation, rural/urban population density, and geographical nearness. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
North East Combined Authority76%NoNo targetNov. 5, 2019
North of Tyne Combined Authority69%YesNo targetMay 7, 2019
Denbighshire County Council69%No2030July 2, 2019
North Lincolnshire Council69%No2030No
Lancaster City Council69%Yes2030Jan. 30, 2019
East Ayrshire Council67%No2030No
Nottinghamshire County Council66%No2030May 27, 2021
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council65%Yes2030May 23, 2019
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council65%Yes2050No
Bassetlaw District Council64%NoNo targetNo

These councils are the most similar to Durham County Council in terms of their emissions profile, based on the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Stafford Borough Council88%No2040July 23, 2019
North East Combined Authority88%NoNo targetNov. 5, 2019
Oxfordshire County Council88%No2030April 2, 2019
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council84%Yes2030May 23, 2019
Denbighshire County Council84%No2030July 2, 2019
West Yorkshire Combined Authority83%No2038June 27, 2019
Bradford Metropolitan District Council81%No2030Jan. 15, 2019
North Kesteven District Council81%Yes2030July 11, 2019
North of Tyne Combined Authority81%YesNo targetMay 7, 2019
Darlington Borough Council80%Yes2050July 18, 2019

These councils grographically border or overlap with Durham County Council. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
North East Combined Authority94%NoNo targetNov. 5, 2019
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council94%Yes2030May 23, 2019
Darlington Borough Council93%Yes2050July 18, 2019
Richmondshire District Council93%Yes2030July 23, 2019
Sunderland City Council91%Yes2030March 27, 2019
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council89%NoNo targetNo
Hartlepool Borough Council88%NoNo targetNo
Northumberland Council87%Yes2030June 11, 2019
North Yorkshire County Council86%Yes2030No
Eden District Council84%No2030July 11, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Durham County Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in high deprivation, medium deprivation, and low deprivation neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
North East Combined Authority92%NoNo targetNov. 5, 2019
Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council92%No2038Jan. 30, 2019
Scarborough Borough Council92%No2030Jan. 7, 2019
City of Lincoln Council91%No2030July 23, 2019
Chesterfield Borough Council91%Yes2030July 17, 2019
North Lanarkshire Council91%Yes2030June 20, 2019
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council91%Yes2030May 23, 2019
Bridgend County Borough Council90%No2030No
London Borough of Enfield90%No2030July 8, 2019
Bristol City Council90%Yes2025Nov. 13, 2018

These councils are the most similar to Durham County Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in urban, rural, and highly rural neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Bolsover District Council90%YesNo targetNo
Teignbridge District Council88%Yes2025April 18, 2019
South Staffordshire Council87%YesNo targetSept. 10, 2019
Cambridgeshire County Council87%Yes2050May 14, 2019
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council85%No2037July 16, 2019
South Derbyshire District Council85%Yes2030June 27, 2019
Newark and Sherwood District Council84%Yes2035July 16, 2019
Central Bedfordshire Council83%No2030March 5, 2019
Rushcliffe Borough Council82%Yes2030March 7, 2019
Huntingdonshire District Council82%No2040No

Features

This council’s climate plan has been tagged with the following features:

Powers & Responsibilities

Durham County Council is a Unitary Authority, with powers over:

Council buildings and staff

Climate actions might include:

  • making council offices more energy efficient
  • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
  • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Environmental health

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing industrial emissions through air quality enforcement
    • bringing up insulation and energy efficiency standards through enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard 2000, for cold and damp conditions in private rental and social housing

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Passenger transport

    Climate actions might include:

    • encouraging bus and private hire operators to use low-emission vehicles, through licensing requirements or Clean Air Zones
    • incentivising bus use by improving routes, timetables, and ticket prices through ‘Enhanced Partnerships’ with operators
    • proposing to central government the development of light rail / tram networks that integrate, rather than compete, with other modes of transport in the area

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Planning and building control

    Climate actions might include:

    • imposing reasonable requirements that new developments comply with energy efficiency standards and get a proportion of their energy from local, renewable sources (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • incorporating additional energy performance standards into their Local Plan, for new works that require planning permission
    • using Area Action Plans to guide development proposals towards lower carbon emissions or more cycling and walking routes, for example
    • enforcing legislation that requires private rental properties to be of Energy Efficiency Rating E or above (Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2015)
    • funding energy efficiency improvements on existing homes, through initiatives such as Green Homes Grants

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Schools and libraries

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing the carbon footprint of civic buildings through better insulation and renewable energy use
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    • encouraging eco-clubs at schools
    • using school land to plant trees and hedgerows, or to grow food

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Housing

    Climate actions might include:

    • setting energy standards above building regulations (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • enabling housing associations to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through loans
    • where councils operate their own social housing, prioritising energy efficiency – for example, by requiring Passivhaus standard for newly built schemes

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Transport planning

    Climate actions might include:

    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ like walking and cycling by creating or widening footways and cycleways
    • incentivising Electric Vehicle use by assigning street space to EV charging
    • disincentivising the use of fossil fuel cars through congestion charging,low-traffic neighbourhoods, or the reduction of parking space

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Waste collection and disposal

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about English local authority powers in the UK100 Power Shift report.

    More about this council

    durham.gov.uk
    Durham County Council’s official homepage.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check Durham County Council’s ‘carbon budget’ – their share towards meeting the UK’s Paris agreement targets.
    Friends of the Earth ‘Near You’ tool
    Discover climate groups in this area, data about Durham County Council’s climate performance, and actions you can take.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2022). Climate Action Plan Explorer: Durham County Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/durham-county-council/ [Accessed 22 May 2022].

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