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Tackling the climate & ecological emergency together

Dorset Peoples Assemblies on Climate Emergency

Dorset Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and have spent the past 18 months gathering “facts” and writing a strategy and action plan.

Dorset Council recognise that global warming, climate change and species loss is real. In their strategy they state, “we have only 8-10 years at the current rate, within which serious action is required to avert this crisis and avoid the worst impacts.”

Dorset Council believes we have less than a decade to drastically reduce our carbon emissions and prevent further wildlife loss. However, the strategy and action plan works to a 20 year timeframe to become a net zero carbon Council, and 30 years to be a net zero carbon county. There is a disconnect between what Dorset Council say and what they intend to do.

Dorset Council’s Public Consultation on the strategy and action plan is now open and will close on 20th January 2021.

The Assemblies

In November and early December we held six People’s Assemblies to provide an opportunity for you to talk with other people across Dorset about the emergency and Dorset Council’s response to it.

The consultation is our chance to tell the Council what we think of the action plan.

  • Does it reflect the urgency they say is needed?
  • Is this an emergency response that will keep us our communities and our environment safe and secure?
  • What’s missing?

If you are unsure about the effects of the climate and ecological emergency, or want to know more about the facts and the science, this video might be useful: Climate & Ecological Emergency: What’s the Urgency?

What happens after the Assemblies?

During the Assemblies we collected everyone's comments, opinions, ideas, fears, and questions. We are now putting them all together in a summary to submit them to the formal Dorset Council consultation process, on behalf of the Assembly participants. This means that everyone's contribution will be heard by the Council. We also encourage everyone to make their own individual submission.

You can still join us and lend your voice to this historical consultation by signing the Dorset Climate Action Network petition calling on Dorset Council to reset their carbon net zero target from 2040 to 2030. See column on the right.

The People’s Assemblies were organised, facilitated and supported by a number of groups in Dorset including; 

Dorset Climate Action Network
Transition Towns Network
Sustainable Dorset
Friends of the Earth East Dorset
Planet Purbeck
Planet Shaftesbury
Extinction Rebellion
South Coast Progressives
Portland 4 the Planet

Dorchester Churches' Ecology Group

The more people who now make their own submissions to the Dorset Council consultation and the more people who sign the petition, the more weight our collective voice will have in the final consideration Dorset Council give to OUR action plan.

Thank you to all those who attended one of the Assemblies. They were lively, energetic, full of ideas. As well as expressing collective and individual concerns on the climate and ecological emergency.



Help Make Dorset Council Carbon Neutral by 2030

Climate and Ecological Emergency Dorset

Dorset CAN (Climate Action Network) in partnership with Planet Purbeck started this petition to Dorset Council (Ray Bryan)


You’ll probably have heard about Climate Change.  Sir David Attenborough said “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years… Climate Change”.

But did you know Dorset Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) in 2019, and are, right now consulting on their Strategy (click here)?

We want Dorset Council to lead the way by applying themselves to this problem with the scale and urgency it requires.  We want them to change their carbon zero target from 2040 to 2030.  You can send a clear message by signing this petition NOW!

The Council are to be applauded for all their work in producing their draft Strategy and Action Plans as they are, but does the current target of carbon neutral by 2040 reflect an EMERGENCY?

We believe the strategy needs to be more ambitious.  Let's aim for Carbon Negative not zero, strive for Nature Recovery and, most importantly, change the target for Dorset Council to be Carbon Neutral to 2030.  Dorset Council should work with the government, businesses, organisations, communities and individuals for them to achieve a target of 2030 too.

Please join us in asking Dorset Council to take up this challenge!

Just a few of the comments made at the Assemblies on the proposed draft targets in the Dorset Council Strategy and Action Plan:

  • I am terrified for the future, I fear that we will tip past 1.5 degrees within the next 7-10 years. I do not see Governments acting quick enough or appropriately enough. Covid was the perfect opportunity to push the system changes and they seem to be letting it slip. The time is now, we must act now, let’s start today.
  • The 2050 target for carbon zero is obviously compete inadequate. Compare Dorset with other UK local authorities
  • We are running out of time, I'm concerned that we will leave tackling the emergency until the 11th hour. We need a covid-like response, where we ask people to take this seriously, and where everyone understands what is at stake, AND that we CAN solve this, but time is short
  • Dorset Council’s aspirations should be to become climate positive - not just Net Zero. And the timescale is not ambitious enough…

People's Assembly in February 2020 discussing Climate Action ideas to submit to the council

Climate Assembly participants at an assembly in February 2020.  Coming up with climate ideas to submit to Dorset Council. 


Planet Purbeck have produced a simple, easy guide to completing the consultation on the Dorset Council portal.

It goes through the consultation survey page by page and explains what you need to do to fill it in.  The guide has some useful paragraphs you can cut and paste onto your own submission.  Or just use the guide to help you work out how to fill it in and put in your own feelings, thoughts and ideas.

Here’s a link to the guide:

You can find this on the Planet Purbeck website (click here) or downloaded as a pdf (click here).

Thanks to everyone who has signed and has been sharing our petition, we are now getting close to the magical 1,000 signatures, keep finding one more person to persuade to sign up.  The more people sign, the more support Dorset Council has for all their work to address the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.

Planet Purbeck guide


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