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Environmental strategy 2020-25

Glossary of terms

Austerity: The United Kingdom government austerity programme is a fiscal policy adopted in the early 21st century following the Great Recession. It is a deficit reduction programme consisting of sustained reductions in public spending and tax rises, intended to reduce the government budget deficit and the role of the welfare state in the United Kingdom.

Anthesis: An environmental consultancy working with Nottingham Council, BEIS, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research at the University of Manchester to develop the SCATTER tool.

Biodiversity: The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable. A good level of biodiversity is indicative of a healthy ecosystem or habitat that can support a range of species.

CATCH: Working with Anglian Water, Broadland District Council and Norwich City Council to find long-term solutions to the problem of surface water flooding in Norwich. Offering homes, businesses and schools the chance to have a slow-release water butt or rain water planter installed.

Cabinet committee: Norwich City Council’s main decision-making body. It is made up of a small number of councillors, called cabinet members. They each have responsibility for particular service areas of the council (e.g. housing, sustainable city development, waste and recycling, planning, finance).

Climate Change Act (2008): The Climate Change Act 2008 is the basis for the UK’s approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It requires that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are reduced and that climate change risks are prepared for. The Act also establishes the framework to deliver on these requirements.

The Climate Change Act commits the UK government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050. The 100% target was based on advice from the CCC’s 2019 report, ‘Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan: Government strategy to address the main risks and opportunities identified in the risk assessment for England.  Produced every five years. The first National Adaptation Programme was published in July 2013 and the second in 2018. The latest programme sets out what government and others will be doing over the next 5 years to be ready for the challenges of climate change.

Climate Change Emergency & Environment Executive Panel (CEEEP): Norwich City Council committee created in October 2019 to consider climate change and sustainability including social and economic issues in both the short and the long term in order to gather information and generate reports to advise Cabinet.

Climate Change Emergency: A declaration by local authorities and countries, which states that urgent action needs to be taken to slow the progress of climate change.  An affirmation that the struggle against climate change is an emergency and needs to be treated as such.

Climate resilient communities: Communities which are able to absorb and withstand the stresses placed upon them by climate change, and continue to function, adapt and evolve into communities which are increasingly sustainable and better able to deal with future climate change impacts.

CO2 emissions: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless, odourless and non-poisonous gas formed by combustion of carbon and in the respiration of living organisms and is considered a greenhouse gas. Emissions means the release of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors into the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.

Council: A branch of local government in the United Kingdom: Supervising one of the Districts of England: A Metropolitan borough. A Non-metropolitan district.

DBEIS: Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Energy efficiency: Using less energy to provide the same service. For example, a compact fluorescent bulb is more efficient than a traditional incandescent bulb as it uses much less electrical energy to produce the same amount of light. Whilst an LED bulb is more energy efficient still.

Five year carbon budget: In order to meet the government’s Climate Change Act (2008) targets, five-yearly carbon budgets were set. These budgets currently run until 2032. They restrict the amount of greenhouse gas the UK can legally emit in a five year period. The UK is currently in the third carbon budget period (2018 to 2022).

Fuel Poverty: Not having sufficient income to be able to heat one’s home sufficiently, including hot water to keep clean, or a source of heat to cook with.  Where a resident is fuel poor, they may have to make the decision to “heat or eat”.

Global Warming of 1.5°C: In October 2018, the IPCC published the Special Report on 1.5°C (SR15). Drawn together by 91 authors, and with 6,000 scientific references, the report shows that "limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared with 2 °C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being". Also that a 2 °C temperature increase would exacerbate extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, coral bleaching, and loss of ecosystems, among other impacts. 

The report also presents modelling that shows that to ensure that global warming is limited to 1.5 °C, "Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050.”

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): The IPCC is an organisation of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

The objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

LCLIP: LCLIP is a simple tool designed to help organisations to assess their exposure to the weather. It can be used as a standalone tool, or as a step in a risk-based framework. The LCLIP process shows how prepared an organisation is to deal with severe weather events.

Local Agenda 21: Local Agenda 21 is conceptualised in chapter 28 of Agenda 21, which was adopted by 178 governments at the 1992 Rio Conference. Agenda 21 recognised that many environmental problems can be traced back to local communities and that local governments have an important role to play in implementing environmental programs and gathering community support. Adoption of Local Agenda 21 is voluntary. The most appropriate implementation method is not prescribed. Rather local government and the local community agree upon a suitable implementation method for their region.

Local Authorities: A local authority is officially responsible for all the public services and facilities in a particular area.  Depending on where you live, local government consists of at least one or two tiers of authorities. Two tiers, with responsibilities of local services divided between them: County council/ borough, district, city councils. Or one (unitary) tier, providing all the services:  unitary, London boroughs, metropolitan boroughs.  In Norwich we are part of a two-tier system with Norfolk County Council.

Local Government: The administration of a particular county or district, with representatives elected by those who live there.

Local Planning Authority: The local planning authority is usually the planning department of the district or borough council. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a local planning authority as, 'the public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area.

Low carbon: causing or resulting in only a relatively small net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Mitigate: To make the impact of something less serious or severe. To soften or reduce.

Norwich 2040 City Vision:  Launched in Autumn 2018, the Norwich 2040 City Vision is a document which brings together the results of a large consultation exercise with a wide range of stakeholders, to consider what residents, businesses and visitors might like Norwich to be like as a place to live, work and play in the year 2040.

Norwich City Council’s corporate plan: A plan that details how the council intends to deliver the services it provides for the people who live, work and play in Norwich. The most recent corporate plan has been written in response to the Norwich 2040 City Vision document, in order to facilitate in delivering the aspirations laid out in this document.

Paris Agreement: An agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

Passivhaus: A voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. Can be applied to domestic or commercial properties.

Place making: An overarching approach to shaping the city paying particular attention to the physical, cultural and social identities that define a place. Placemaking strengthens the connection between people and the places they share.  

RAG: In project management, RAG (RAG report, RAG status or Delivery Confidence Assessment) is an acronym that stands for Red Amber Green and relates to project status reporting which is utilized by project managers to indicate how well a certain project is performing.

Renewable energy: Energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Renewables: Refers to types of technology, including solar, wind, hydro, that harness energy from infinite (or renewable) sources such as the sun, wind, water, as opposed to energy created by burning gas or coal (fossil fuels) which are finite sources of energy, and therefore not renewable. They will run out eventually.

Retro-fitting: Modifications to existing (commercial or domestic) buildings that may improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand.

SCATTER Tool: SCATTER is a local authority focussed emissions tool, built to help create low-carbon local authorities. SCATTER provides local authorities and city regions with the opportunity to standardise their greenhouse gas reporting and align to international frameworks, including the setting of targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Its use is free of charge to all local authorities in the UK.

SUP: Single Use Plastics are goods that are made primarily from fossil fuel–based chemicals (petrochemicals) and are meant to be disposed of right after use. Single-use plastics are most commonly used for packaging and serviceware, such as bottles, wrappers, straws, and bags.

Sustainability: Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

Sustainable Development: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of universities bringing together researchers from the social and natural sciences and engineering to develop sustainable responses to climate change. We work with leaders from the public and private sectors to promote informed decisions on mitigating and adapting to climate change.

UKCIP18: The UK Climate Projections (UKCP) is a climate analysis tool that forms part of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme which is supported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It was last updated in 2018.

UK net zero target of 2050: Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. Carbon sink is any system that absorbs more carbon than it emits. The main natural carbon sinks are soil, forests and oceans. According to estimates, natural sinks remove between 9.5 and 11 Gt of CO2 per year. Annual global CO2 emissions reached 37.1 Gt in 2017. To date, no artificial carbon sinks are able to remove carbon from the atmosphere on the necessary scale to fight global warming.

WRAP: WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.