What we're doing about climate change

Surrey's Community Vision for 2030 contains the ambition that:

"Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities"

This ambition reflects the shared ambition of Surrey's 12 local authorities that our residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities.

In support of this ambition – and the UK's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – on 9 July 2019 the council declared a 'climate emergency' and committed to work with partners to agree Surrey's collective response.

We have since published Surrey's Climate Change Strategy, our Climate Change Delivery Plan and New Tree Strategy which establish the approach for how Surrey's local authorities and other partners will work together to put the county on the path to net zero carbon emissions and strengthen our climate resilience.

In November 2023 we published both our Net Zero 2030 Progress Report (pdf) and our Climate Change Whole Programme Assessment (pdf), detailing the progress we've made to date on our journey to becoming a carbon free council.

Our success lies in us all taking action to shift our behaviour and to live more sustainable lives to help safeguard our communities and the environment.

What we have done so far

  • Committed £48 million to ensure that within 10 years all buses in Surrey are ultra-low or zero emission vehicles
  • Invested over £6m in new in cycling and walking routes to help people rely less on their cars
  • With our district partners across Surrey, we have been successful in obtaining £14m of Government funding to help low income households to improve the energy efficiency of their home, saving carbon and reducing fuel bills
  • Produced a new Surrey Transport Plan, which is currently out for consultation, aiming to support people out of private fossil-fuel powered cars, to help reduce the 46% of carbon emissions generated by transport
  • Converted nearly half of our 89,000 streetlights into LEDs, which is predicted to use 65% less energy and save £2 million every year
  • Begun the Farnham Infrastructure Programme aimed at tackling congestion and air quality in Farnham and surrounding areas.
  • Trailed new greener highways equipment to reduce the impact on our environment when carrying out works
  • Committed to planting 1.2 million trees – one for every Surrey resident – by 2030 to help absorb carbon dioxide
  • Working to reduce the flood risk for 11,000 homes and 1,600 businesses in communities along the River Thames following our £270m investment and Government approval of the latest stage of the scheme
  • Achieved the 3rd best recycling rate in England - one of the most important ways we can help to reduce global warming and climate change.

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