On the Wednesday, July 17, South Gloucestershire Council passed a motion declaring a climate emergency and set a target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

I’m sure most readers will join me in welcoming such an ambition.

Unfortunately, however, the words and deeds don’t match.

Official figures show the council has made good progress on CO2 emissions over the last few years on every category except transport, where there has been no improvement at all.

Without a real turnaround in transport emissions the climate change targets will fail miserably.

Arguably the single most important thing the council can do to influence this is the spatial strategy – i.e. to plan where people will live and work in future in a way that will reverse the inexorable rise of commuter traffic.

However, here comes the problem; South Gloucestershire’s spatial strategy is to do precisely the opposite of what is needed to tackle the traffic problem.

By opting for huge greenfield developments such as Buckover, served primarily by road and miles from the centres of employment, they are building dormitory towns that will bring about an exponential increase in the volume of traffic.

This is the elephant in the room which the council is trying to ignore.

It is hypocritical to declare a climate emergency and at the same moment embark on a planning policy which is guaranteed to make things worse. My suggestion is the next time readers attend a public forum at which the new council leader Toby Savage is present, ask him how the policy of satellite development is consistent with a policy of zero emissions.

Colin Gardner