Havant Borough Council acknowledges climate change and is committed to addressing this through improving its own systems, supporting residents and businesses in positive change and through addressing biodiversity in its planning processes. The council's climate change and environment strategy was unanimously adopted by full council in September 2021. The associated climate change and environment action plan will be published later this year. Climate change and environment strategy 2021-26 (pdf 476 kb) What is climate change? The term climate change refers to a change in global and regional climate patterns. It is usually used in the context of man-made effects on the environment – causing rapid increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is universally accepted that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels – oil and gas. Natural deposits of fossil fuels took hundreds of millions of years to form, and by burning them, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The result of increased carbon dioxide is to trap heat. The rate of change is altering climate patterns, increasing the severity and intensity of storms, locally increased extremes of hotter or colder weather and making weather unpredictable. The impact on biodiversity (natural ecosystems and wildlife) is devastating. Changes to the climate are outpacing the ability of the natural world to evolve and adapt. The council wants to address the climate crisis by enabling everyone to play their part. We have pledged to address our own emissions, and for operations and decisions to be climate aware. We aim to embed climate-friendly policies though the Local Plan, in our communities, and how we make investments in infrastructure. Our local natural environment is included in our approach, because it adds to wellbeing and makes Havant a great place to live, work and visit.