On Friday 4th September, Chichester MP, Gillian Keegan, held her second climate change meeting in a conference-style event, bringing together local leaders responsible for tackling this issue.
The two-hour online conference covered a wide range of topics based on questions submitted from residents across the Chichester District. The conference focused on local challenges, with discussions on coastal developments and how they interact with sea-level rise, as well as, wastewater being released into the Chichester Harbour. The panel was comprehensive, with representatives from both local councils, the Environment Agency, Harbour Conservancy and the National Park Authority. Collectively they covered everything from pop-up cycle lanes, expansion of salt marshes, sustainable planning and inputting renewable technologies in protected landscapes, water quality and much more.
Nearly 90 people participated live with a high level of interest from other residents intending to catch up on Gillian’s website - www.gilliankeegan.com/news/climate-change-conference-2020
All the panellists updated the attendees on the work done so far, within their respective organisations. The conference concluded with an agreement to increase local cooperation across agencies, governmental bodies, businesses and education centres to collaborate more as a community to tackle climate change.
Local MP, Gillian Keegan said:
“A large number of residents, of all ages, from across the district are very interested in climate change and wider environmental issues. This conference was a fantastic opportunity for local stakeholders responsible for tackling climate change and improving our environment to share their work and explain the key challenges and priorities ahead. To reach our national goal of net-carbon zero by 2050, or sooner, we need to be working together at every level. Moving forward we will continue to work together to form a forward programme of meetings and events to track progress and develop detailed plans of key local issues to push this agenda forward.”
Nick Gray, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager with the Environment Agency said:
“The conference was a brilliant platform for us to share with everyone the huge amount of work the Environment Agency is currently doing. It was great to hear about the progress underway from every level and talk through the key concerns of those listening in. We look forward to working with Gillian and her team moving forward.”
Richard Craven, Director of Chichester Harbour Conservancy said:
“I was impressed with the level of engagement with climate change, the ambitious targets being set and the sense that, in the Chichester area at least everyone has stepped up a gear in the face of this existential threat”
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“It was extremely useful to hear the views, opinions, and questions from everyone who took part in this event. As we highlight in our recently published Climate Change Strategy, the issue of climate change cannot be solved by any one organisation, and we know that collaborative working at this crucial time is vital. As the County Council takes forward further work to adapt and combat the effects of climate change, we want to ensure we listen to others so we can find a way to work together and take the necessary steps to protect our environment.”
Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, said:
“Climate change is something we know our residents, businesses and visitors are very passionate about, and as a council, we are too. This year, the council took a key step forward in the fight against climate change by officially adopting an initial Climate Emergency Action Plan, which set out a carbon reduction target of 10% year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District. We have developed this plan and will soon be asking for people’s views on this. It was a pleasure to take part in this event and update everyone on the work we are doing, but more importantly, to have the opportunity to answer questions from local residents about this important subject. Through our forthcoming consultation, we look forward to hearing the views of residents and businesses alike, which will help us shape our future plans.”