Nottingham City Council and its leading approach towards tackling climate change at a local level will be represented on the world stage of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26.

The pivotal conference which gets underway in Glasgow this week sees world leaders from across the planet meet to discuss how to collectively address the climate emergency and keep global temperature increases to less than 1.5C.

The City Council has set an ambitious target for Nottingham to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028. Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Sally Longford and Director of Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability Wayne Bexton are attending the event to outline some of the key successes Nottingham has had in reducing its CO2 emissions – a 52.3% fall since 2005, the highest per capita fall of any UK core city. They will also be listening to other leaders in the field to understand what more can be done to improve and accelerate the city’s green efforts. This includes:

  • Investing significantly in an increasingly green public transport system, featuring electric trams, 43% of NCT buses running on bio-gas, the Linkbus fleet now 100% electric and 46% of hackney cabs now ULEV – along with improved cycling and walking facilities and plans for Park & Ride expansion
  • Greening the council’s own vehicle fleet – now 30% electric and including the world’s first fully electric bin lorries
  • Rolling out 130 public electric vehicle charging points, with 81 – the most for a single site in the UK – now available at the new Broadmarsh car park
  • Overseeing the insulation of over 7,000 social and private hard-to-treat homes and installation of solar panels on over 4,000 social housing properties since 2012, with 1,200 more homes in the pipeline for similar retrofitting improvements
  • Planting more than a quarter of the 50,000 new trees pledged by 2023.

COP26 comes over twenty years after Nottingham led the charge against climate change among local councils with its Nottingham Declaration, which sought broad commitment from local authorities to take action locally to address the issues of global warming. Cllr Longford and Wayne Bexton will be sharing best practice from Nottingham, looking to create stronger links with other cities and lever further investment into the city. They will outline how to make investment in net zero viable and discuss some of the innovative technologies deployed in Nottingham which make it the most sustainable city in the UK, including large-scale battery storage, solar PV, district heating, fuel cells, sustainable transport initiatives and domestic property retrofitting – with Nottingham’s Energiesprong retrofitting of hard-to-heat homes to make them virtually net zero carbon homes chosen as one of just 17 worldwide to be showcased at COP26.

Deputy Leader Cllr Longford, also the council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services, said: “It’s widely accepted that COP26 comes at a point where significant change need to be happening now at a global level if we are to avert disasters around the world.

“While we strive to do as much as possible in Nottingham, none of us have yet done enough to address this most serious of issues. We need Governments around the world to come together over the next few weeks and agree to swift and decisive action that will tackle the problems head-on. In the meantime, we will continue to take action at a local level, share what we have learned and find out what further steps we can take on our just transition towards carbon neutrality while improving the lives of our residents.”