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Somerset County Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

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

Whole area pledge for 2030

“The Councils have come together to produce the Somerset Climate Emergency Framework which will identify ways to make Somerset carbon neutral by 2030.”

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

Somerset County Council was a top performer amongst county councils.

SectionSomerset County CouncilAverage county council
Top performer Total score63%40%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
10/21
8.4/21
Section 2 · Top performer Mitigation and adaptation
18/18
6.6/18
Section 3 Commitment and integration
3/5
2.7/5
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
7/9
4.7/9
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
3/5
2.4/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
4/4
1.9/4
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
0/5
0.2/5
Section 8 Education, skills and training
2/5
1.7/5
Section 9 · Top performer Ecological emergency
4/4
1.5/4

Emissions data

2402.3 ktCO2

Total 2020 emissions

4.3 tCO2

per person

0.7 ktCO2

per km2

38%

Transport

30%

Domestic

17%

Industry

6%

Agriculture

5%

Commercial

3%

Public Sector

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

These councils are the most similar to Somerset 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
Devon County Council90%No2030Feb. 21, 2019
Mendip District Council89%Yes2030Feb. 25, 2019
Sedgemoor District Council88%Yes2030March 20, 2019
Dorset Council88%No2040May 16, 2019
South Somerset District Council87%Yes2023May 21, 2019
Somerset West and Taunton Council85%Yes2030Feb. 21, 2019
Wychavon District Council82%Yes2050No
North Devon Council82%Yes2030July 24, 2019
Shropshire Council - Unitary81%No2030May 16, 2019
Herefordshire Council80%Yes2030March 8, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Somerset 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
South Somerset District Council93%Yes2023May 21, 2019
Devon County Council89%No2030Feb. 21, 2019
Wiltshire Council87%No2030Feb. 26, 2019
Mendip District Council86%Yes2030Feb. 25, 2019
Lincolnshire County Council86%Yes2050No
Dorset Council86%No2040May 16, 2019
Sedgemoor District Council86%Yes2030March 20, 2019
Somerset West and Taunton Council85%Yes2030Feb. 21, 2019
Boston Borough Council84%NoNo targetJan. 20, 2020
Tewkesbury Borough Council83%Yes2030Oct. 1, 2019
Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
South Somerset District Council98%Yes2023May 21, 2019
Mendip District Council97%Yes2030Feb. 25, 2019
Sedgemoor District Council96%Yes2030March 20, 2019
North Somerset Council96%Yes2030Feb. 19, 2019
Bristol City Council95%Yes2025Nov. 13, 2018
Bath and North East Somerset Council94%Yes2030March 14, 2019
South Gloucestershire Council92%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Newport City Council92%Yes2030Nov. 23, 2021
Dorset Council92%No2040May 16, 2019
Devon County Council91%No2030Feb. 21, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Somerset 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
Rother District Council97%No2030Sept. 16, 2019
Conwy County Borough Council96%No2030May 9, 2019
South Somerset District Council96%Yes2023May 21, 2019
Dumfries and Galloway Council96%Yes2025June 27, 2019
North Devon Council96%Yes2030July 24, 2019
Shropshire Council - Unitary95%No2030May 16, 2019
Midlothian Council94%No2030Dec. 17, 2019
Breckland District Council94%Yes2035Sept. 19, 2019
Arun District Council93%No2030Jan. 15, 2020
Mendip District Council93%Yes2030Feb. 25, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Somerset 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
Wiltshire Council99%No2030Feb. 26, 2019
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council96%NoNo targetSept. 9, 2019
Wealden District Council96%Yes2050July 24, 2019
Dorset Council96%No2040May 16, 2019
Sedgemoor District Council95%Yes2030March 20, 2019
Norfolk County Council95%No2030No
Carmarthenshire County Council95%Yes2030Feb. 20, 2019
Monmouthshire County Council95%Yes2030May 16, 2019
Lincolnshire County Council94%Yes2050No
Bassetlaw District Council93%NoNo targetNo

Features

Powers & Responsibilities

Somerset County Council is a County Council, 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
    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.

    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.

    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 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

    somerset.gov.uk
    Somerset County Council’s official homepage.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2022). Climate Action Plan Explorer: Somerset County Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/somerset-county-council/ [Accessed 28 Nov 2022].

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