Hampshire residents and communities are making a significant difference in the drive to tackle climate change, by taking part in Hampshire County Council backed community initiatives and making changes in their own homes and lifestyle choices.

Over the past two years, through the Solar Together scheme, 2,100 households have purchased competitively priced solar panels, resulting in the installation of 7,400kw of rooftop solar power, which has the capacity to save an estimated 46,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

This highlight, along with the progress of other community projects and the County Council’s own efforts to tackle climate change are captured in the County Council’s Climate Change Annual Progress Report presented to Cabinet on Tuesday 12 December.

Leader of the County Council, Councillor Rob Humby said: “It is particularly timely to be presented with this report – on the concluding day of COP 28, where we have heard world leaders speak of recognising the value of local cooperation. This is a way of working that we have embraced in Hampshire.

“Clearly there is good progress being made across the county, as well as within our own organisation, but there is still a great deal to be done in this area and it is important that we continue to work in partnership with organisations and local communities to meet our shared climate change goals. As one individual organisation, the County Council simply cannot tackle climate change alone so I, for one, am grateful to our partners, community groups and residents for their commitment in taking action. Together, we stand a much better chance of reaching Hampshire’s climate targets by 2050.”

A further example of residents’ activity, set out in the Annual Report, is the way in which communities across the county are being inspired and supported by The Greening Campaign to actively take carbon-saving actions in their own homes, such as reducing energy use and making space for nature.

The County Council’s own work to tackle climate change is focused on key areas like reducing emissions from transport, making buildings and homes more energy efficient, generating local renewable energy and protecting and enhancing our natural environment.

Progress is also included in the report on measures being taken, for example, to protect the environment and increase people’s ability to leave the car at home and walk and cycle instead (through the construction of dedicated walking and cycling routes).