The Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council has reiterated the authority’s carbon-neutral aims as she prepares to sign up once more to a global commitment.

Councillor Sally Longford, pictured, will make the Council a signatory again on the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCM), which it first signed up to in 2008.

GCM is a worldwide alliance for climate change, built upon the commitment of more than 10,000 cities and local governments. These cities are spread across six continents and 138 countries, representing more than 800 million people.

By signing up to the GCM, a city is vowing to accelerate a reduction of carbon emissions in their area in line with the Paris Agreement. There are three main commitments:

  • Reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030
  • Increase resilience by adapting to impacts of climate change
  • Share the vision, results, experience and know-how with fellow local authorities

This complements the Council’s own bold plans to go further and be the UK’s first carbon-neutral city by 2028. Following a city-wide consultation earlier in the year, which resulted in around 1,000 responses, the authority published its 2028 Carbon Neutral Action Plan.

This action plan focuses on eight key themes for action:

  • Transport
  • The built environment
  • Energy generation 
  • Waste and water 
  • Consumption 
  • Carbon removal
  • Resilience and adaptation
  • Ecology and biodiversity

The authority is now leading the delivery of the plan across the city and working with partners, businesses and the public to all play their part.

Activity on the plans has so far included:

  • Continuing to convert Council vehicles and motorised equipment to be electric-powered – 30 per cent of the fleet is already electric and the authority is using the world’s first electric bin lorries
  • An Electric Vehicle Service Centre was opened in the summer
  • A large solar panel was installed on the new Broadmarsh Car Park roof to provide power directly to the building
  • The council’s housing retrofit programme continues, with more than 4,000 council homes installed with solar panels
  • Putting in place traffic-calming and road closure schemes to encourage more walking and cycling
  • Planting more than 8,500 new trees this year across the city’s green spaces
  • Held a 28 For 28 summer activity scheme for families to reduce their carbon footprint.

City Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Environment & Energy, Councillor Sally Longford, said: “We’re proud of our carbon-neutral aims as a council and I’m very happy to sign up again to this important global commitment on behalf of Nottingham.

“We have laid out plans for how – with the ongoing support of local people and businesses – we can reduce our carbon footprint to the point where in 2028 we are the first city in the country to be carbon-neutral.

“This won’t be easy but we have to be bold and ambitious. It’s vital that we put sustainable carbon neutrality at the core of the city and its renewal over the next 12 months and beyond as we emerge from the Covid crisis.

“It’s true that we have all noticed clearer skies and cleaner air, perhaps appreciated wildlife more and maybe returned to slightly simpler ways of life. People have had to get used to using their cars a bit less, walking and cycling more, thinking more carefully about what they are buying to reduce waste.

“We need to build on that, putting climate action at the heart of a wider sustainability vision that delivers for people and the planet, so we can provide the foundation for economic recovery, building a new form of clean growth through a green industrial revolution, and maximising the opportunities for local jobs.”

Wayne Bexton, Head of Energy Services, said: “I welcome the Council signing up again to the Global Covenant of Mayors, which underlines our commitment to the people of Nottingham about our carbon-neutral intentions. “By setting an ambition to become the first carbon-neutral city in the UK by 2028. We have taken an approach that positively addresses wider environmental challenges, benefits the city and residents through improved quality of life while ensuring nobody is excluded from the progress it will bring.”