Herefordshire is about to re-commit to becoming a “net-zero” county within seven years.

The latest county plan, setting Herefordshire’s overall goals between now and 2028, is expected to be voted through by councillors this Friday (May 24).

This commits to “work(ing) towards reducing county and council carbon emissions, aiming for net zero by 2030/31”.


The UK government by contrast has pledged to reduce its emissions to net zero only by 2050. Last autumn Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a delay to the the deadline for selling new petrol and diesel cars and for the phasing out of gas boilers.

While many of the other commitments in the county plan seem uncontentious and even common-sensical, they form the basis for individual policy decisions down the line.

On transport, the document commits the council to “expand and maintain the transport infrastructure in a sustainable way and improve connectivity across the county”.

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On environment, it must “value nature and uphold environmental standards to minimise pollution and maximise biodiversity”.

It must also “work with partners to provide high quality and affordable housing to meet all needs” and “enhance the rollout of improved broadband across the county towards a fully digital Herefordshire”.

As one of the county’s largest employers, Herefordshire Council itself must “attract and retain an excellent workforce through effective approaches to recruitment and retention”.


Putting it forward for approval by the county’s cabinet last week, cabinet member for finance Coun Pete Stoddart called it “an ambitious vision covering all the council does”.

Greens leader Coun Ellie Chowns said that climate change “is the biggest challenge we face, but you wouldn't know it” from reading the draft plan.

Nor did it mention the cost of housing in the county, “yet this is crucial to addressing this issue”, she added.