The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has presented an action plan in response to the threat of climate change at July’s Full Council.
Mayor Rees has reiterated his commitment to addressing the global climate emergency by setting a new Bristol City Council target to be carbon neutral for its own direct emissions by 2025.
At the same time, Mayor Rees is leading a new city-wide strategy to ensure everyone can play a role in transforming Bristol’s environmental performance, as part of setting a new goal to make the city carbon neutral and resilient by 2030.
He said: “We are leading by example to bring Bristol together in the face of one of the biggest global threats facing our planet. We might be one city in the context of a worldwide issue but it’s vital we take immediate action for our citizens and work with them to empower them to contribute, addressing any barriers along the way. Our response must be inclusive to ensure everyone benefits.
“Developing a One City Climate Strategy for Bristol is critical to putting in place the governance structures we need to bring together our city to effectively and urgently make the changes we need to make transformative action.
“The report shows our biggest challenge is consumption of goods and services from outside Bristol. This is a fundamental challenge to city government, corporations and citizens to take urgent action to change behaviours.”
The report to Full Council demonstrates that almost 60% of carbon emissions in Bristol are caused by imported consumption. An estimated 2.4 million tonnes of carbon are produced in the city per annum on imported goods and services, compared to 142,000 tonnes on shipping and aviation. Domestic fuels and transport are the second biggest source of emissions.
The size of individual carbon footprint from consumption is directly determined by disposable income.
In addition, the Mayor’s report to Full Council outlined actions already planned or undertaken, including:
- Introduction of the City Leap programme – a new way to generate, transport, store and use energy
- Work towards a low emission mass transit system and bus deal
- Accelerate energy efficiency in new homes
- Generating heat from zero and low carbon energy sources in the city
- Running a trial in social housing with Bristol Energy to improve the business case for solar energy
- Install solar panels on 10,000 council-owned homes
- Ensure new council-built homes meet environmental standards of 20% lower emissions
- Reduce carbon emissions through council-owned companies
- Improve recycling, including building a new recycling and household waste centre
- Retrofit 7,000 homes every year
- Target reaching 50,000 electric vehicles in the city
- A 200% increase in renewable energy in Bristol.
The Mayor has also called on the government to provide additional powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible. He has also allocated £50k funding to ensure both councillors and key council staff receive climate change training, giving them the knowledge and skills needed.
To read more about the climate emergency report go to the council’s website.