The annual COP28 conference is for governments to agree on policies to limit global temperature rises and adapt to impacts associated with climate change.  

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment at Portsmouth City Council says: “I’m thrilled to be a part of Portsmouth’s journey to a more sustainable future, and it makes me so proud to see all the hard work that each department is doing, to pull together and make positive changes. It’s great the Portsmouth Guildhall and the terminal at Portsmouth International Port have been lit up in green for the duration of COP28, really making this important event come alive in our city.”

New website sets sights on achieving net-zero by 2030

A new website provides residents and businesses with information on the council’s climate change projects, as well as resources and support to help reduce their carbon footprint in the city.

Greener shipping

Portsmouth International Port has secured funding to provide shore power facilities allowing ships to turn off their engines when docked, reducing carbon emissions. The port won the ‘Best Environmental Innovation’ and the ‘Net Zero Navigator’ awards this year for its work towards becoming carbon-neutral by 2030 and emissions-free by 2050.

Join a car club

Residents can unlock and rent a car for as little as half an hour with the new Car Club scheme, ideal for people who might occasionally need a car but don’t need to own one. This will help reduce traffic and carbon emissions. Eight cars are available from designated parking bays, with more locations being looked at for the future.  

Community involvement

Community events held during summer holidays allowed 140 children to take part in cycle training, and taught 64 children to ride. 131 bikes were security marked and registered with Bike Register. Free Repair and Ride workshops have given people the skills and confidence to maintain their bikes at home, supporting more active travel in the city.

Food waste service

The food waste collection service is expanding again to all communal properties within the city, including the blocks of flats in the city. Since the collections began, over 9,144 tonnes of waste has been diverted to food waste recycling, equivalent to the weight of 1828 adult elephants. The food waste is turned into fertiliser and the recycling process also produces biogas which is a renewable source of energy, so it’s all put to good use

Coastal Scheme successes

As an island city, Portsmouth is threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change. The Southsea and North Portsea Coastal Schemes are building new coastal defences that reduce the risk of a major flood event now, and for the next 100 years. The Southsea Coastal Scheme won a highly commended accolade in the sustainability category of the 2023 Constructing Excellence Awards, and spoke about the project at London Climate Action Week.

Southsea caste

Energy team triumphs

The council’s in-house energy team has worked on large solar panels and battery storage projects at Portsmouth International Port and work has begun at Lakeside North Harbour, this will mean the sites can run on carbon-free energy. The Switched On Portsmouth team won an award for Supporting Vulnerable Customers in the South East Energy Efficiency Awards 2023 for their work with fuel poverty and gained a special commendation in the national Energy Efficiency Awards 2023 for its large solar project work.

Greening the city

Portsmouth’s Countryside Services and, together with volunteers, cleared 2800m2 of scrub on the common, which helps make space for other important habitats like grassland. They have also planted over 300m of native hedgerow. The regeneration team have included a large open green space in their plans to redevelop the north of the city centre. Greening is important for keeping cool, reducing flooding, and storing carbon in the soil.

1.5°C target

The council recently joined the WWF One Planet City Challenge. This scheme welcomes cities who want to understand how to align the with Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting climate change to 1.5°C whilst improving their resilience. This will give Portsmouth City Council access to the latest climate resources, allowing it to guide the city to become net zero by 2030.

a view of Portsmouth from the sea

Wheeled travel trends

Both Beryl Bikes and Voi rental e-scooter hire is available across the city, and so far users have collectively made 777,336 trips. Bikes and e-scooters can both be unlocked using the Breeze app. There are free cycle groups to help people of all ages and abilities to develop confidence and skills with more experienced riders helping to map Portsmouth’s streets, improving road safety for everyone, and encouraging people to use greener travel.

picture of a woman on a blue bike with a black helmet

Roosting retreats

The coastal defence schemes aim to be zero waste projects, so are recycling and reusing waste for future parts of the work such as to raise the promenade and road around Southsea. In North Portsea, recycled materials have been used to create a roosting island for overwintering birds. The island has been named Cockleshell Island following a public naming competition in 2023.

Improving climate literacy 

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery’s exhibition ‘Ocean at the end of the lane: Discovering Portsmouth’s coastline’ highlights the environmental challenges we face as an island city, and what is being done to address them, as well as raising awareness to the impacts of climate change. The exhibition has welcomed nearly 23,000 visitors since it opened.

Enhanced bus service

The council has secured £48m of funding to deliver the Portsmouth Bus Service Improvement Plan, bringing discounts for bus travel to all young people up to age 18, earlier and later weekend buses plus a host of free travel weekends. Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, First Bus and the government, 62 brand new electric buses will also be coming to Portsmouth. Most of the city’s emissions come from transport, so it’s imperative to improve public transport.

blue bus