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Dragon Interview: ‘Dream Job’ for Guildford’s New Climate Change Lead, George Potter

Published on: 12 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

“The climate emergency is the single most important challenge facing our planet” says George Potter, the new lead councillor for climate change at Guildford Borough Council. He says: “It will be the defining crisis for the next 20 or 30 years.”

Interview with the new GBC climate lead, George Potter by Dragon reporter, Hugh Coakley.

In an interview (see below) with The Dragon, Potter said it was his “dream job”. He gave an upbeat report on the actions GBC has taken on climate change since the council voted to declare a climate emergency in 2019. He said more could have been done but they had been “completely blindsided” by the pandemic.

See also New Lead Councillor For Climate Change

He said they had “embedded climate change” in the GBC planning policies with “incredibly ambitious standards, the best we possibly can within the law for all new developments”. The goal to achieve net zero for GBC’s emissions by 2030 was a risk, he said, but, if it was missed, it would be “by one or two years at worst”.

But he also acknowledged the poor rating given to GBC by the organisation Climate Emergency UK. He accepted they had “struggled with communicating” with the public and said this was something they had to improve upon.

He said they were learning from the way Waverley had presented their climate change plan and that GBC wanted to use it but also improve upon it for Guildford.

Watch to the full interview here…

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Responses to Dragon Interview: ‘Dream Job’ for Guildford’s New Climate Change Lead, George Potter

  1. Linda Parker-Picken Reply

    November 13, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    How does Cllr Potter square his aspiration to create a better life for residents of Guildford’s villages with his steadfast refusal to review GBC’s 2019 Local Plan?

    Large developments have already been approved, or are in the pipeline, for areas of the borough that used to be green belt or undeveloped.

    The construction of these housing projects will produce huge amounts of CO2 whilst simultaneously destroying trees and green fields that currently act as carbon sinks. And their new residents will then be using energy and their cars to contribute yet more carbon emissions to the area.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    November 14, 2022 at 1:45 am

    I’m sure George Potter is sincere in his beliefs, but I doubt his certainty is based in fact. There is little doubt that climate change is occurring, but how any individual man can change it is not so obvious.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 18, 2022 at 7:34 am

    I do not see how an apologist for the Tory Local Plan can make any impact on climate change, apart from making it worse. How exactly will a plan which will force 50,000 more cars on our roads do anything but increase pollution, congestion and damage to health.

    Just the environmental impact of building 20,000 new homes, over the plan period (including the 40 per cent uplift), will be enormous.

    No, the only way to make a positive impact on climate change is to review the Local Plan, in line with proven housing need, not the fantasy numbers dreamed up by the Tories.

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