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Committee to consider council’s climate emergency plans

Sheffield Winter Garden three-tiered glass domed entrance

As world leaders meet at COP26 to discuss the urgency of reducing climate change globally, Sheffield City Council’s Transitional Committee is considering the council’s 10 Point Plan for tackling the climate emergency.

The 10 Point Plan was a key action of the council’s One Year Plan and sets out a framework for how the council will work with people, partners, and businesses to develop and deliver actions needed to tackle the climate emergency.

A working draft will be presented to the committee for consideration and comment on November 10 and residents and businesses are invited to submit their thoughts on the plan beforehand. This is just the first opportunity to be involved in the development of the work that is contained in the plan.

This includes ten short term priorities that will allow the council to make progress while it develops long-term programmes of work.

The ten points are:

  1. Put climate at the centre of our decision-making
  2. Be proactive in finding ways to resource the action that is needed
  3. Take action to reduce carbon now
  4. Work towards reducing Council emissions to net zero by 2030
  5. Bring the city together to make the changes we need
  6. Work with the city to develop delivery plans for the areas where change needs to happen
  7. Work with and support people, businesses, and organisations to take the action that is needed
  8. Work to build the skills and economy we need for the future
  9. We will work to ensure we have the planning and infrastructure we need for the future
  10. We will prepare the city to adapt for a changing climate

The plan covers all parts of the council and its activities, with a high-level focus on its approach and the next steps needed to reach net zero carbon.

It recognises that, while the council has some direct impact, it is only responsible for 7% of Sheffield’s emissions and highlights the need to work with partners across the city, individuals, and businesses to tackle the climate emergency.

Sheffielders and the city will benefit in several ways from the action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change, including:

  • Improving people’s homes so they are suitable for the changing climate
  • Reskilling people whose jobs need to change along with the economy and the world around us
  • Making businesses more resilient and sustainable
  • Bettering the health of residents and community experiences by improving air pollution, making active travel easier and encouraging healthier eating
  • Making use of outdoor spaces in which trees and plants can reduce the impact of heat and flooding as well as improve people’s wellbeing

Councillor Douglas Johnson, Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “With COP26 happening as we speak, climate change is on all of our minds and now is the time we need to act. I’m really proud of Sheffield and all the hard work that’s been done so far, but we recognise the challenge and know there’s a hell of a lot more to do.

“The 10 Point Plan is a crucial step in our commitment to ensuring Sheffield reaches net zero carbon. We want this journey to be a fair transition for every resident in the city and aim to make sure the changes made improve inequalities for Sheffielders and have a positive impact on the most vulnerable.

“People do not deserve to face winters in homes they cannot heat and summers in homes they cannot cool. They do not deserve for their health and wellbeing to suffer. We want to reduce carbon emissions, protect outdoor spaces, get people eating healthier, encourage businesses to be more sustainable, and much more, it’s those small changes we can all make to our daily lives that together have a huge impact.

“Tackling the climate emergency will be a team effort and one I’m sure the people of Sheffield will join us in achieving in any way they can.”

The 10 Point Plan also highlights actions the council is already taking to tackle the crisis.

For example, with homes and buildings, around 800 homes in Sheffield are being retrofitted and funding has been secured for roofing works on 20 high rise buildings which will include solar PV installation and battery storage.

The council has also agreed a Clean Air Zone that will be implemented by late 2022, installed 25 publicly accessible rapid charge electric vehicle charging points in the past year and invested in 62 electric and ultra-low emission vehicles.

But there is still more to do, and the plan also outlines the key areas where change needs to happen. The council will improve the energy efficiency of its estate, fleet and services and enable employees to reduce their emissions. Elsewhere in the city, new homes will be built fit for the future climate, active travel will be encouraged and there will be a focus on reducing consumption and waste.

To learn more about the 10 Point Plan, head to the meeting agenda page ahead of the discussion at the Transitional Committee. 

Sheffield residents and businesses can provide their comments on Citizen Space. Comments received by the end of  November 8 will be put forward to the committee for consideration.