The Essex Climate Focus Area (CFA) has been created to pilot accelerated climate action and showcase best practice in sustainable land stewardship, in collaboration with local councils, charities, residents, landowners and businesses.
The area covers almost one third of the county – the Blackwater and River Colne catchment area – where a focused effort to combat climate change is now underway, leading the way for the rest of Essex to follow.
The creation of the CFA was one of the core recommendations in the Net Zero: Making Essex Carbon Neutral report proposed by the Commission’s Land Use and Green Infrastructure Special Interest Group (SIG).
Targeting a designated area within the county allows for more focused, ambitious, and intensive action to be delivered within shorter time frames, and where new knowledge about positive impacts can quickly be spread across the county.
The overall goal of the Climate Focus Area is to achieve net zero carbon emissions through carbon reduction and carbon sequestration methods.
The secondary goal of the Climate Focus Area is to become more climate change resilient by:
- Improving soil health and access to natural green space and increasing biodiversity
- Reducing air pollution
- Reducing flooding
- Reducing the urban heat island effect
- Improving the amenity and liveability of Essex communities
Climate Focus Area aims
- To achieve net zero carbon as quickly as possible in the Climate Focus Area through an intensive and bold engagement and partnership-building programme with residents, landowners, local councils and businesses.
- Increase resilience to climate change in the Climate Focus Area by reducing flooding and air pollution, improving soil health and access to natural green space and increasing biodiversity.
- To encourage all landowners to adopt of Sustainable Land Stewardship practices.
Climate Focus Area objectives
- 30% of land cover to be managed as Natural Green Infrastructure
- 30% of urban areas under Natural Green Infrastructure
- Native tree cover to double (c.5% to 10% cover)
- Every Parish to have a biodiversity action plan
- Every Parish to have a climate emergency strategy