Before even identifying the other priority themes, Greater North Kent Leaders emphasised the need to make progress in decarbonisation (net zero) and addressing the climate emergency. This is therefore a thread that will be woven through all work-streams and appropriate metrics used to test proposals and measure contribution to impacts and outcomes.
Some specific aspects under consideration include:
- The need and opportunities for growth in ‘green’ industries, and associated skills and learning requirements. These include renewable energy, where North Kent has some locational advantages. But there is a need for all jobs to become ‘greener’ as every part of the economy grapples with the challenge to de-carbonise.
- Partner authorities’ own climate action plans: exploring the scope for collaboration both in framing policies and delivery arrangements to enhance their impact, to learn from good practice elsewhere and to model approaches that could be scaled up within Kent and the south east. Local authorities account for only about 3% of carbon emissions within their areas but have potential influence over around 33% of emissions. The cumulative impact of collective action could therefore be significant.