AN ANNUAL report has outlined the work Cambridge City Council has been doing to reduce carbon emissions from its own buildings and operations and to work with residents, businesses and visitors, including adapting to climate change.
The report sets out the progress the council has made against five objectives through its Climate Change Strategy 2016-21 during the last year, including:
- Assisting residents to reduce their domestic carbon emissions through schemes such as the Winter Warmth project, which provided home visits and helped households to install energy efficiency improvements to homes;
- Working to reduce emissions from transport including by collaborating with partners on cycling improvements, installing electric charging points for taxis and offering incentives for taxi drivers to drive low-emission vehicles;
- Reducing consumption of resources and increasing recycling by supporting the Cambridge Sustainable Food Network, increasing the number of allotments available for residents and promoting the council’s food waste collection service to food businesses;
- Supporting the council, residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change through a number of projects. These included working with developers to provide sustainable drainage systems in housing developments and increasing the area of perennial meadows, which reduce the need for mowing and watering and increase biodiversity in the city’s parks and open spaces.
The report includes a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which uses the findings of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 to identify additional actions for the council to further support council services, residents and businesses of the city in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
The council has also worked to reduce emissions from its own buildings and services. The council’s Carbon Management Plan 2016-21 aims to reduce carbon emissions from the council by at least 15% by March 2021, with an aspiration to reduce emissions by 20% over this period. As reported in its recent Greenhouse Gas Report, the council’s emissions have reduced by 18.4% from 2014/15 to 2017/18.
Among the completed projects which are contributing to reducing the council’s carbon emissions are:
- Installation of LED lighting and motion and light sensors at Mandela House;
- A boiler upgrade at Mandela House;
- Installing LED lighting and motion sensors at the Guildhall.
The report outlines the work which will be carried out in the coming year to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and save money at the Guildhall, and highlights other potential projects to be investigated further this year. It also shows that according to statistics by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), carbon emissions in Cambridge have reduced from 2005 to 2016 by almost 30%.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre, said: “Working to reduce carbon emissions and lessen the effects of climate change is of vital importance for the city and indeed for the planet, as the recent landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made very clear.
“Our annual report shows that we are on course to reduce the council’s own carbon emissions by up to 20% by 2021, and potentially more. Achieving that will be an important milestone as we aspire to help make Cambridge a ‘zero carbon’ city by 2050.
“We would like to thank residents, businesses and other organisations in the city for all the important work being carried out to reduce their own carbon emissions. We would also encourage everyone in the city to think about how to go further in reducing their bills and cutting emissions, including by consuming less heat and less meat, and by choosing public transport or active travel options.”