City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Sally Longford has today signed the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, as Glasgow prepares to host the pivotal COP26 conference in the wake of a stark UN report on global warming.
It 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.
Since then, the City Council has set an ambitious target to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028. Nottingham has reduced its CO2 emissions per capita by 52.3% since 2005 – the highest fall of any UK core city.
It has done so through a range of policies and schemes, including significant investment 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. The council’s own vehicle fleet is 30% electric including the world’s first fully electric bin lorries, and it has rolled out 130 public electric vehicle charging points, with 81 – the most for a single site in the UK – soon to become available at the new Broadmarsh car park.
The council has also overseen 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. It is also more than quarter of the way towards its target of planting 50,000 new trees by 2023.
This week’s publication of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has increased the need for more action, more urgently. It stated there is unequivocal evidence that humans are to blame for increasing temperatures, which are likely to rise 1.5C above pre-industrial levels within the next twenty years. It warns that heatwaves, heavy rainfall and droughts will become more common and extreme.
The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration confirms the commitment of local and regional authorities to develop sustainable food policies, and calls on national governments to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency at COP26.
Councillor Longford signed the Declaration at St Ann’s Allotments, one of the largest inner city allotment sites in the world, run by the Renewal Trust – one of the latest partners in Nottingham’s ‘We Support CN28’ campaign. St Ann’s Allotments were awarded £109,900 through the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a flagship project called New Roots which will launch in this month.
Deputy Leader Cllr Longford, also the council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services, said it was another step in the right direction in light of the IPCC’s report.
“It’s twenty years since we launched the Nottingham Declaration – and in its report the IPCC says that there will be catastrophic consequences in the next twenty years as our global temperatures rise above 1.5C if nothing is done to stop them.
“It’s a stark reminder that, despite many successes in this area for Nottingham, none of us have yet done enough to address this most serious of issues. We need Governments around the world to come together in Glasgow in November 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 such as signing the Glasgow Declaration to place food and local action at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency.”