A council action plan to reduce carbon must include a cost benefit analysis when it is next discussed councillors have agreed.
The net zero carbon working group met four times between September 2019 and September 2020 and prepared a “comprehensive” report and strategic action plan for adoption by the council with the aim of becoming a net zero carbon local authority by 2030.
Some actions have already been started and others are for in the future as the plan covers procurement, energy, buildings and housing, land use, fleet and behaviours, with sub-groups focusing on each section.
A report to full council on Thursday (Dec 10) states that “at this stage it is suggested the Plan summarises the strategic assessment undertaken and sets out a strategic direction. Each action to be undertaken needs to be subject to further business case approval at future stage.”
Cllr Mike Stoddart said that previously a figure of £1million had been mentioned and that a cost benefit analysis should be provided for any firm proposals.
He added that the plan was “virtue signalling nonsense” with the “costs concealed.”
Cllr Stoddart put forward an amendment that a full cost benefit analysis be included with the groups next report to full council, questioning the impact the council could have on reducing carbon on a global scale.
Cllr Cris Tomos said it would duplicate work as each proposal would be put through the council’s budgetary process.
Cllr Josh Beynon, who has been a driving force behind the carbon reduction campaign, said the action plan will “actually make a difference to Pembrokeshire”.
Cllr David Pugh added his support, saying “the work that’s been done, even some the projects that have been suggested are excellent” and taking it forward would be of benefit of future generations.
The need for a global solution was also highlighted by Cllr Jonathan Preston who said environmental problems “right on our doorstep” should be focused on.
Council supported the adoption of the action plan with the amendment that financial costings are also provided when the group next reports to full council.