The city council will once again be at the forefront of the climate agenda as cabinet – the decision making body of nine elected councillors – gets set to rubberstamp an ambitious citywide target of achieving net zero carbon emissions.
At the meeting on 13 October, cabinet members will be asked to confirm their support for net zero emissions across the city by 2045 – five years ahead of the previous goal of 2050 set by the Norwich 2040 City Vision partnership.
As one of the key players of the 2040 group, the city council has been instrumental in pushing on the climate control agenda and is proud to be part of the ‘Norwich Climate Commission’, a newly established and independent body which will come into effect in November. This also confirms our continued membership of UK100, a group of highly ambitious local government climate leaders.
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the council and chair of the 2040 city vision group, said: “The much accelerated target of achieving net zero emissions across the city is an ambitious step that recognises the urgency of the climate emergency.
“Areawide emissions have already decreased by 52.9 per cent since our baseline was set, and it is crucial that this momentum is kept up in future years.
“With COP26 taking place soon, this is a crucial time to take further action to tackle climate change – something which is a priority for the city council as well as a key focus for the city over the next 10 to 20 years.”
As a local authority, the city council has been leading the way on environment action for many years. It was one of the first to benchmark its carbon footprint in 2007, and has reduced its operational emissions by 70 per cent since then. The council’s own target for achieving net zero has been set for 2030.
A number of services support the council’s award-winning carbon management programme. Its recently updated environmental strategy and ambitious programme to improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock via retrofitting and other means has helped the city council be well on track to meet its ambitious target of net zero in nine years’ time.
The revised citywide target will be considered at cabinet alongside a holistic climate and environmental update which will inform councillors on the impressive environmental progress being made at the council and across the city, and detail plans to continue progress in the future.