As the COP26 summit kicks off in Glasgow, locally, the Isle of Wight Council emphasizes that it is already well advanced in meeting its own goals of a carbon neutral island by 2040.

The Council declares that it has recently adopted a strategy for the climate and the environment (September 2021), but has already taken a number of actions to:

  • renovate eligible dwellings with various heat management solutions, including insulation, windows, draft protection, etc. using the Green Home Grant;
  • review the draft island planning strategy, outlining the environmentally sustainable requirements in new developments on the island in accordance with UK environmental law, including the provision of renewable energy and recharging electric vehicles;
  • obtain financing for 10 new electric vehicle charging points on the street;
  • roll out the “Warm Up Wight” program which provides free insulation to eligible households; across the island
  • secure funding for a new electric bicycle loan and rental program starting this year, in addition to the testing of electric scooters already underway and a “cargo bike” program.
  • achieve a household recycling rate of 56%
  • plant over 400 trees as part of a “Planet Aware” tree planting project.

Councilor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet Member for Environment, Heritage and Waste, said:

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“With COP26 taking place over the next two weeks, it’s a great time for us to celebrate all we’ve accomplished so far and highlight what we’re going to do next.

“I know Islanders are passionate about protecting and sustaining our environment – the natural beauty that surrounds us is one of the reasons many of us love living here. Through the work we are doing and will do as part of our climate and environment strategy, we will not only protect our island for future generations, but we will improve our biosphere and do our part for the rest of the world.

Upcoming projects include:

  • a “Forest and plantation plan”
  • heat and energy decarbonization projects in 12 municipal buildings, thanks to funding received from the public sector decarbonization program
  • a “Mission Zero Hub” is being developed which will allow the board to partner with groups, communities and individuals across the island to work towards net zero goals

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