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Cambridge City Council

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Our work towards a sustainable Cambridge

Tackling climate change is a key policy priority for the council.

The climate change agreement in Paris in December 2015 agreed to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C and the need to achieve zero net global carbon emissions by the second half of this century to achieve this.

In response to calls from local campaign groups for further action, in February 2021 we produced a summary of the action we have taken to date to address the climate emergency [PDF, 0.2MB].

Climate Change Strategy

Our Climate Change Strategy 2021 to 2026 shares a vision for Cambridge to be net-zero carbon by 2030. This is subject to government, industry and regulators implementing the necessary changes to enable the city and the rest of the UK to achieve this. It sets out six key objectives for how we will address the causes and consequences of climate change:

  1. Reducing carbon emissions from city council buildings, land, vehicles and services
  2. Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions from homes and buildings in Cambridge
  3. Reducing carbon emissions from transport in Cambridge
  4. Reducing consumption of resources, reducing waste, and increasing recycling in Cambridge
  5. Promoting sustainable food
  6. Supporting council services, residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change

Carbon Management Plan

Our Carbon Management Plan 2021 to 2026 sets out how we will reduce carbon emissions from our estate and operations to help us achieve objective 1 of our Climate Change Strategy.

In the strategy we set an ambitious target to reduce direct carbon emissions from our corporate buildings (including swimming pools, office buildings, car parks, sheltered housing schemes, community centres, arts venues and the crematorium), our fleet vehicles (including vans, trucks and refuse vehicles), and business travel, to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Environmental work at the council

Our planning department promotes the use of renewable energy technologies in new developments, and sets out policies and site-specific proposals for the development and use of land in Cambridge.

The environmental protection team including environmental health deals with air, land, water and noise pollution.

Our waste management team manages and delivers the city's refuse, recycling and green waste collection services, as well as a scheme to deal with abandoned vehicles.

Our home energy officers promote the council’s small one-off grants to qualifying owner-occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. They also promote national grant and incentive schemes including the Green Deal and feed-in tariffs.

Our tree officers are responsible for the maintenance of the thousands of Cambridge’s street trees. The trees provide shade and cooling to the city, as well as vital shelter and food sources for the city’s wildlife. Trees along the streets and in parks and gardens help enhance the city’s character and add to its biodiversity.

Drainage engineers coordinate strategic flood risk management for the city. They manage the maintenance of watercourses and promote the use of sustainable drainage systems and water efficiency measures in new developments.