Milton Keynes Sustainability Strategy 2019 -2050

Milton Keynes Sustainability Strategy 2019 -2050

Milton Keynes Council Sustainability Strategy

Climate Change


The UK Parliament approved a motion to declare an environmental and climate emergency in May 2019.  


A climate emergency generally means becoming carbon neutral.


Atmospheric concentrations of CO2  in April 2019 from the Keeling curve were the highest for 60 years. The weight of evidence is that this rise is due to burning fossil fuels.


The UK Climate Change Act 2008 target is “to ensure the net UK carbon account for 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 levels by 2050”. Some MPs are calling for a new target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.


Milton Keynes Council has gone further by pledging to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050.


This new goal will be delivered through all relevant strategies and plans and by continuing to work with partners in Milton Keynes, the region and internationally.


The Milton Keynes Council Sustainability Strategy for 2019-2050 was approved by MKC at full council meeting in January 2019. Work is now in progress on the action plan to support the Strategy. 



The Sustainability Strategy is in the documents section below.


Send in your comments now by clicking on the comments and tips link on the right, read on or click on the headings in the left hand column for more information.

Invitation to join the Citizens group

The MK Citizen Interest Board


August 2020 Update 

The Citizen Interest Board was a great success producing some dynamic discussions and intelligent suggestions for future sustainable planning. The suggestions have been forwarded to the designer of the new planning SPD expected to be released later in 2020.


To continue the success of the Citizen Interest Board, it will be resuming on line in the near future. Please email if you are interested in joining the group.


The MK Citizen Interest Board 2019


It is understood that MK citizens and organisations have great ideas of how to reduce human impact on the environment. By working together we can have a greater impact at a faster pace.


The POWER project team formed a citizens group to create a pathway to reducing water consumption in Milton Keynes. Water is one of the priorities for action in the MK Sustainability Strategy.


Climate Change is likely to include the following Impacts on water:


  • Increases in mean temperature in most land and ocean regions
  • Hot extremes
  • Heavy precipitation
  • Probability of drought and precipitation deficits
  • Increasing temperatures and more variable rainfalls reduce crop yields
  • Global mean sea level rises
  • Increased saltwater intrusion in coastal areas and small islands resulting in flooding and damage to infrastructure
  • Species loss due to loss of climatically determined geographic range
  • Loss of ecosystem services to humans


The 'Task and Finish' consultation was an opportunity for every citizen to suggest policies and actions that would lead to the targets in the Sustainability Strategy. These can be about water, reducing energy demand or any of the key aims in the Strategy:


Results from the Task and Finish Group and sustainability documents can be found on CMIS using this link


You can propose project ideas for reducing water consumption and carbon emissions in MK by adding comments below or emailing



Please click on the headings in the left hand column for more information.

Background legislation


The Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA) sets the carbon target of net carbon account for 2050 to be at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline. The baseline includes COand other greenhouse gases.  


The UK ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 signing up to obligations to combat climate change, protect the environment and human health and rationalise utilisation of natural resources. The key points are in the diagram below and the full declaration can be seen here .



Present Situation


A substantial amount of research data has become available in the ten years since the UK’s Climate Change Act and three years since the Paris Agreement.

The special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)  in 2018 made headlines ‘on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways’.  The IPCC estimates human activities have caused about 1.0 °C of global warming above pre-industrial levels and if we don’t make changes by 2030 it is likely to increase a further 0.8 °C.o 1.2 °C.


A global warming of 1.5 °C to 2.0 °C from present temperatures will increase climate-related risks for natural and human systems. These risks have already been observed in recent years with increases in mean temperature of most land oceans and extremes of heat, precipitation and drought in several regions. Adaptation to these impacts is expected to be more challenging for ecosystems, food and health systems at 2.0 °C of global warming than for 1.5 °C.



97% of scientists agree that climate change is not caused by Earth’s orbit but human activity. Please see the Expert Credibility pdf in the documents for full paper.


If you think these figures sound small, consider how much heat is required to heat an ocean and conversely, a reduction of 1 or 2 degrees in the past was enough to start a Little Ice Age.



NASA Earth Observatory reports the global temperature has climbed about 10 times faster in the last 100 years than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming over the last 5,000 years.  NASA Earth Observatory also believe Climate Change impacts are considerably less if a mean global surface temperature can be kept to 1.5°C rise.  Current energy and climate policies in place globally, set the planet on a global warming pathway of 3°C.



What is a Climate Emergency

Bristol Councillor Carla Denyer is credited with being the first person to propose the idea of declaring a Climate Emergency. The declaration is about reducing carbon emissions locally and convincing MP’s to make resources available to help local authorities to take action to keep climate change to 1.5°C.


The declaration of a climate emergency is a call to action to reduce carbon emissions.


The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent advisor to government on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change. The CCC say carbon emissions can be lowered by using energy more efficientlyswitching to low-carbon fuels and tackling emissions in areas such as waste and land use.

The CCC had four key messages to Government in their June 2018 Progress Report to Parliament:


  1.   Support the simple, low-cost options
  2.   Commit to effective regulation and strict enforcement
  3.   End the chopping and changing of policy
  4.   Act now to keep long-term options open


What can I do?

Join the MK special interest group for reducing carbon emissions and water conservation . The group will consist of a maximum of 30 MK citizens who will discuss and propose ideas for the Council to adopt. Would you like to be a member of this special interest group?


Please log in to this platform and make some suggestions for reducing water demand or any of the Strategy aims. If you would like to join the Citizen group you can email and let us know why you would like to be in the group.  


Related Milton Keynes Projects

The INTENSIFY Project is about Carbon reduction through citizen action : how to empower citizens and communities to achieve more carbon reduction.

More information on the Milton Keynes Council website here

The Public Organisations Transform Energy Tranistions (POTEnT) project addresses a key challenge for European Cities of how to achieve more carbon reduction by working directly with local citizens and communities. 

More information on the Milton Keynes Council website here

The Hotmaps project is producing an open source mapping and planning tool for heating and cooling.

More information on the Milton Keynes website here


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Comments & tips

  • KJM



    In the honeycomb diagram there is no mention of buildings. With the substantial regeneration programme just beginning and with MK council able to hold private developers to account for building energy...

  • Theo Fernandes



    Must I live in MK to become a candidate to integrate the group?

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