Residents and businesses who are passionate about climate change are being encouraged to join a series of groups launched by the Portsmouth Climate Action Board, to encourage sustainable change in the city.
The Board is launching Climate Action Groups to drive change in Housing, Education, Business, and Policy and Planning.
They will also establish a Greening Group to help residents green the city through pocket parks, community orchards, wildflower verges and more.
It is expected that the volunteer-led groups will meet monthly and will feed directly into the Board’s Climate Action Strategy and the city-wide ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Professor Steve Fletcher, Chair of Portsmouth Climate Action Board, said: “It is an inescapable truth that as a compact and crowded city at sea level, Portsmouth is at the frontline of climate change in the UK.
“We are committed to making a difference in our city but know that meaningful change is only possible with the support and commitment of individuals and organisations. We are grateful for those already involved but want to encourage more people to come forward and support our ambition to create a greener Portsmouth.”
The Board is also offering a free and simple to use Business Carbon Audit Toolkit so businesses can assess their emissions and get help to reduce them.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Portsmouth City Council, said: “There is no one solution to climate change, and no one organisation or person can make the difference that’s needed. The role of the Climate Action Board is to coordinate a city-wide response to the climate emergency, and it is down to us to ensure that everyone in the city understands the role they can play in tackling climate change. There are changes we can all make, and every change makes a difference.”
The Portsmouth Climate Action Board website, also launched today, will act as a hub for climate action in the city. It will provide information on the causes and impacts of climate change, actions that can help, and local and national resources – including funding opportunities.
Nick Sebley, Portsmouth Climate Action Board Member, added: “This last year has shown us how vulnerable our economy is to global threats but also how important green spaces and community are. We want to build on both those revelations and create a resident led movement that both pushes for government action and starts greening its own communities. The opportunities are huge: warmer homes, lower energy bills, healthier air, a fitter society, and more verdant streets.”
Find out more about the Board, and how you can get involved, at www.portsmouthclimateaction.org.uk. Sign up for regular updates at: www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/council-and-democracy/my-portsmouth-updates.