Last July, Cornwall became the first county to sign a devolution deal with central government. The deal is a great opportunity to improve the health and well-being being of people in Cornwall, as well as grow our economy sustainably.
In November last year, I was pleased to join members of Cornwall Council, academics, local businesses and community groups at a workshop, hosted by Green Alliance, to discuss how we are using the deal to grow the green economy . From the discussion, it is clear the LEP is on the right track, as a driver of low carbon growth and renewables. The LEP is performing a valuable role in bringing the links between business, the public sector and the environment closer and making the most of local expertise.
We already know that Cornwall’s green economy is strong: it has been a pioneer of low carbon technology and renewable energy development. As a result of the deal, locally shaped investment and support opportunities are now available for low carbon businesses and social enterprises in Cornwall, including marine and geothermal energy.
The recent localised flooding has served as a reminder that climate change is Cornwall’s problem too. The work of Cornwall Flood Forum is building community resilience and involvement in flood prevention and mitigation.
Infrastructure change is too often felt as something done to people, not by them. If we increase engagement and information sharing among Cornish communities on issues around energy, climate change and the natural environment, we will foster a better understanding of our personal environmental responsibilities. An existing initiative showing great results is Carbon Logic, a project tracking people’s personal commitment to tackle climate change through ten ‘pledges’. It has already delivered real carbon reductions while supporting local farmers and businesses.
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