Truro’s new Zero Carbon Officer looking forward to working with local residents and businesses to tackle climate change

Welcome to Truro City Council’s new Zero Carbon Officer Amelia Sharp.

Amelia is very much a local girl, having moved with her family from Plymouth to Truro as a teenager.  After attending Richard Lander School and then Truro College, she completed a degree in geography at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus last year.

“I have always been interested in the environment and, in recent years, have become more and more aware of the importance of sustainability and the need for everyone to work together to save our planet” she explained.

It was while attending an Extinction Rebellion protest at County Hall that Amelia, then a student at Truro College, was asked a question which would lead to her future career path.

“Edwina Hannaford, who was then Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, came to talk to us and asked me what I wanted the Council to do.  I suddenly realised that while I knew lots of the theory about climate change and sustainability, I had very little practical experience on how to tackle these issues and I needed to change this”.

After completing her degree, which included a dissertation on “Tree Cover in Cornwall “, Amelia worked as an intern for a geothermal company in Falmouth during the summer.

“I knew that I wanted a career which used my skills, qualifications and experience but I also needed to do something which would enable me to make some real, tangible change”.

Amelia is delighted with her new role as the City Council’s Zero Carbon Officer.

“I have lived in Truro since my early teens and so having the opportunity to do this job in my home city is like a dream come true” she said.  “Cornwall is both incredibly beautiful and incredibly vulnerable, with its coastal towns, heath and moors and farmland at serious risk from the impacts of climate change. 

“My new role gives me the opportunity to work with both individuals and communities to develop effective and practical actions to respond to the climate and ecological emergencies we are all facing”.

The City Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and is committed to emitting net zero carbon by 2030. As well as implementing measures to reduce its own carbon emissions, including the introduction of energy efficient lighting in the community library building and reducing the use of paper in its offices, the authority has been encouraging all its staff and councillors to look at how they can promote and enhance sustainability, protect nature and increase biodiversity.

The Council is also working closely with partners and local communities to tackle climate change, with the Mayor officially opening the Mid-Cornwall Climate and Eco Hub, the first eco hub in Cornwall, last year.

The Council also supported the first ever Community Conversation held at Truro Cathedral in April where members of the public were invited to join civic leaders and health professionals to develop practical solutions to tackle the growing environmental and economic issues facing the county. Councillors also voted unanimously to support the Climate and Ecology Bill in 2023 when the private member’s bill was going through Parliament.

Amelia officially joined Truro City Council in April and is working to spread awareness among staff and gather information about current practices to help shape recommendations on the next steps to help the authority meet its zero carbon goal.  This will include carrying out a carbon audit to calculate the carbon emissions being produced by the Council. The information will then be used to develop an action plan setting out the steps needed to reduce carbon emissions over the next seven years.

“Whilst, like many other towns and cities across the country, we have a lot of work to do to achieve our net zero goal, I am confident that by working with partners, local residents and businesses we have the drive and skills to get there “said Amelia. “We will be providing regular updates on our plans to the public as they develop and I am looking forward to working with individuals and local communities to turn our plans into actions”.

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