[Source: East Suffolk Council]

East Suffolk Council has stepped up its commitment to delivering on environmental ambitions by appointing a dedicated lead officer to help shape policy in the fight against climate change.

The new Environment and Climate Change Lead Officer will be responsible for advising the Council on environmental strategies, policies and initiatives, and their contribution to national, regional and local goals.

Acting as a champion for environmental issues, the Lead Officer will also raise awareness of the impact of emerging environmental issues and the difference the Council can make.

In January, East Suffolk Council demonstrated its commitment to delivering against its environmental ambitions by approving the additional funding required for the new post.

The Council has now confirmed the appointment of Paul Mackie (pictured left) – bringing with him more than 15 years of experience in the environment sector to this important new role.

Paul spent seven years working with East Suffolk Council as part of Coastal Partnership East, raising more than £75million of investment for projects to help make our coastal communities resilient to climate change.

He has a successful track record of working with Government on climate change policy and the case for protecting and restoring our natural environment.

He has also worked extensively with local authorities, and policy makers nationally, on flood and coastal resilience, and spent a decade in global corporate sustainability at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, managing international business groups established by The Prince of Wales, focusing on natural capital, green finance and insurance.

Looking ahead to his new role, Paul said:

“I can’t wait to get started at the beginning of June and I’m really keen to draw on my experience working with business leaders on responding to climate change, natural resource challenges and how organisations can reduce the carbon footprint of their operations and investments.

“Protecting the natural environment is essential for our economy and the wellbeing of our communities. East Suffolk is in the UK’s driest region and has hugely diverse biodiversity, which is under threat and needs to be protected, so responding to climate change is critical.

“I know it’s going to be a challenging and multi-facetted role; ensuring that robust delivery plans are in place to achieve targets and respond effectively to the UK’s 2050 Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions goal.”

As well as advising colleagues and partner organisations on the Council’s Strategic Plan objectives, strategies and associated work concerning climate change mitigation and adaptation, Paul will work closely with Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor James Mallinder (pictured right).

Cllr Mallinder said:

“We have an ambitious environmental vision for East Suffolk, which we are delivering, and we are focusing to be a carbon neutral Council by 2030. But this is just the start – and we will continue to review policy and implement new initiatives, making sure our front-line services we deliver today are also fit for tomorrow.

“The environment is one of five key themes of our strategic plan, so I was pleased to see that, in June 2019, we voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency to reinforce this important obligation.

“Paul’s appointment is the latest example of this Council delivering on our commitment. I wish him very well in the role and look forward to working with him as the central lead for environmental and climate change work. This is a council wide focus, so Paul’s engagement with all councillors, heads of department, and the community as a whole, will be very important.

“The environment needs to be embedded into everything we do here at East Suffolk Council and we work hard to encourage residents and stakeholders to do their bit – now and for future generations.”