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My Norwich

Climate change and sustainability

Norwich City Council’s impact on the climate

In response to our declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, and as set out in our Environmental strategy 2020-25, Norwich City Council is committed to achieving net zero emissions, from its operations, by 2030. Since 2007, when measurement and reduction of our emissions began, we’ve reduced emissions by 71% mainly from our buildings and transport, as the graph below and our carbon footprint report for 2020-21 show. 

Chart showing since 2007 we’ve reduced emissions by 71% mainly from our buildings and transport

Council operations annual emissions in Kg CO2e

Projects commissioned by the council to reduce emissions include energy efficiency and renewable energy projects such as installing an air source heat pump on City Hall, a PV system with battery storage at our depot at Hurricane Way and LED lighting. We also use a green energy tariff for all council operations. 

To reduce transport emissions, Norwich City Council is trialling two electric vehicles supported by two dedicated charging points in St Giles’ car park. Emissions from publicly owned vehicles are the responsibility of Norfolk County Council who manage highways in the city. The city council collaborates closely with the county council to make sure a broad spectrum of transport emissions are reduced to reduce climate change and improve air quality.

In total, during the 2022/23 financial year, the council is investing £5.9m in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Our activity is carefully targeted to deliver as much value as possible such as reducing emissions and alleviating fuel poverty at the same time.

Emissions from Norwich City 

Per Capita emissions from the city (tonnes per Norwich resident) have also been falling since 2007, according to statistics produced by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This analysis excludes aviation, shipping and emissions from consumed goods and services. 

Chart showing per capita emissions from the city (tonnes per Norwich resident) have been falling since 2007.

Norwich per capita emissions

Emissions from buildings and transport have to date been our main strategic priorities because, as shown by the graph below, they constitute around 80% of direct emissions from the city. 

Chart showing that emissions from buildings and transport constitute around 80% of direct emissions from the city.

Norwich CO2e emissions by source

Towards Net Zero 2030

Although the council has been successful in reducing emissions, there’s still much more to do to reach Net Zero by 2030. We’ve established the independent Norwich Climate Commission to assist with the next stages of decarbonisation in the city. This year we will also include more emission sources in our environmental action plan, including emissions from our social housing, emissions from the products and services procured by the council and from waste (known as ‘Scope 3’ emissions). The findings from this new baselining exercise, along with a plan for emissions reductions, will be published in a Carbon Management Plan for Council Operations and a refreshed Environmental Action Plan in September 2022.

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