West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Climate Conference 2019

We hosted a Climate Conference on Monday 28 October 2019

West Berkshire Climate Conference 2019 banner
West Berkshire Climate Conference 2019 banner

The event was organised by West Berkshire Council following its declaration of a climate emergency in July 2019. It was one of the first initiatives to come from a new Environment Board established by the council which will create a new Environment Strategy and coordinate and oversee environmental projects. The conference also supported the council's priority to maintain a green district as set out in the new West Berkshire Council Strategy 2019-23.

The Conference looked at how residents, communities, organisations and the council can help tackle the climate crisis and was opened by Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury and former Parliamentary Secretary at the Department of Environment and Wildlife Minister (DEFRA). 

The keynote speaker was Tom Heap, the Rural Affairs Correspondent of BBC News, who spoke specifically around the challenges facing West Berkshire. The television and radio reporter and presenter is best known for his contributions to the BBC One programme Countryfile, the Panorama programme, and the BBC Radio 4 programme Costing the Earth. 

Watch Tom Heap's speech below:

There were break-out sessions covering the Science of Climate Change, Climate and Land use, Sustainable Transport, Renewable Energy, Green District, Waste and more. There was also an exhibition and a chance to shop with some of West Berkshire's eco-friendly businesses.

For pictures from the day, please visit our Facebook page.

Speaking after the conference, Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment said:

"We are proud to have hosted this event, which brought together academics, industry figures, local organisations and residents to discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis here in West Berkshire. 

"Climate change is an important issue that affects us all and about which our community feels very passionately. For this reason, the conference was a great opportunity for local people to be involved with our work and to contribute their views, ideas and experiences as we look at shared solutions we can adopt in the district.

"We were lucky to have secured an impressive line-up of speakers for the day, which gave attendees a great chance to join together to enable real change."