An ambitious raft of activity to bring Portsmouth one step closer to carbon neutrality by 2030 has been agreed by political leaders at a key decision meeting.
Portsmouth City Council's new carbon reduction strategy lays the foundations for the council, its suppliers and the wider city to come together to take action against climate change by focusing on projects that will have the most impact on carbon emissions.
The city has already reduced carbon emissions by 30% - bringing the annual carbon emissions down from 1280 kilotons in 2005 to just 862 kilotons in 2016. This is roughly the equivalent of everyone in Portsmouth not driving for a whole year, or enough energy to power 48,000 homes for a year.
This has been achieved through a number of schemes, including introducing energy-efficient LED lighting in council buildings, helping residents reduce their carbon emissions at home by installing more energy efficient heating systems and introducing more electric vehicle charging points.
But the council recognises that there is more to be done.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council's Cabinet Member of Environment and Climate Change said: "Portsmouth is just one player on the global stage, but we are resolute in our commitment to take action against climate change. This strategy sets out our ambitions to both change our own policies and behaviours, as well as tapping into local passion and expertise through the Portsmouth Climate Action Board to help businesses and individuals make changes too."
Around 30% of the city's emissions (302 kilotons) are estimated to come from transport, but this is closely followed by carbon emissions from energy consumed in private homes (236.2 kilotons) and commercial activity (266.8 kilotons). The strategy reflects these facts and outlines priority action across a number of areas including property, energy supplies, transport and waste.
This includes reviewing the council's properties, fleet and supply chain to find greener ways of doing things, investing in the travel network to make it easier to travel by bike or on foot and ensuring new developments are as clean and sustainable as possible. The council is also about to embark on a critical review from Local Partnerships this year, which will include a costed action plan supported through the 2020/21 budget.
The strategy will be a living document, and will be further developed based on conversations with residents, businesses and the Portsmouth Climate Action Board.
These proposals build on previous commitments that Portsmouth City Council has made to making the city a greener and cleaner place, which include its recently-approved greenest budget ever, plans to build a food waste recycling plant and outreach activity with local schools.
It's time to take action
Portsmouth City Council is investing in their climate change response, both by providing resource and supporting significant financial investment into schemes that will reduce carbon emissions and make the city a cleaner, greener and safer place to live.
Anyone interested in receiving news on the council's plans to tackle climate change can sign up to receive email updates by going to portsmouth.gov.uk/climateaction