It is the only English city of out of 20 across all themes and the only UK finalist in its category, Integrating Nature and Biodiversity – with Bordeaux and Florence among its competitors. The achievement reflects Nottingham’s holistic approach to decarbonisation, prioritising benefits to citizens above all else as it moves towards its net zero target.
To reach the award finals, Nottingham had to demonstrate how its policies, including its carbon neutral plans, place wellbeing at the centre. It was also asked to prove its leadership role and support of other cities, its own inclusive community engagement and its strong citywide partnership work. Drawing on its frequent contributions to national climate networks, pioneering engagement work, new expert Energy & Sustainability board and long-standing, multi-sector Nottingham Green Partnership helped set Nottingham aside from inter-continental competition.
Winners will be announced at the Wellbeing Cities 2020 Forum in September – a virtual event convening representatives from over 100 cities and 50 countries to share and discuss solutions for improving quality of life in urban areas across the globe.
City CouncilDeputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment,Cllr Sally Longford, who will speak at the event, said:“The wellbeing of citizens has always been at the heart of our city’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2028. We are working hard to ensure that Nottingham’s zero carbon future is inclusive and fair, so that all of its communities can benefit from healthier spaces, a better quality of life and a thriving green economy.
“It is fantastic that our aspirations are being acknowledged on a global stage and I look forward to learning from other forward-thinking cities around the world on ways of improving equality on our path to carbon neutrality.”
Wayne Bexton, head of Energy Services, the council team that leads Nottingham’s carbon neutrality work, added: “We are thrilled to have been selected among some of the world’s leading cities in work on wellbeing and the environment. It’s very exciting to be able to share Nottingham’s innovative approaches with an international audience, and contribute to this new community of forward-thinking authorities.”
Having recently updated its Carbon Neutral Action Plan following the consultation of 1,000 citizens, the City Council is now planning a summer of carbon neutral engagement centring on wellbeing support through low-carbon actions. September will be the perfect time for Nottingham to present its progress and connect with other cities to find further inspiration for its carbon neutral journey.