The city council is urging its citizens to engage with the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), and do what they can to keep lowering the city's carbon emissions.
This is the first such conference to take place in the UK, and will bring nations together from across the planet to evaluate progress made towards reducing carbon emissions, and to discuss next steps.
Councillor Emma Hampton, cabinet member for climate change at Norwich City Council, said: “We are very happy to support COP26. The climate emergency is one of paramount importance and urgency, and only a truly collaborative, global approach can produce the results necessary to ensure the planet remains liveable for future generations.
“Within that, of course, we all have our part to play – and it’s our responsibility to make sure Norwich serves as an example of best practice across the nation and the world.”
The council set up its carbon management programme in 2007. Since then, significant strides have been made through steps including decarbonising emissions, investing in renewable energy and retrofitting our various buildings to increase energy efficiency.
The council’s carbon emissions have dropped 70% since a 2008 baseline, while citywide emissions have fallen by 52.9% since 2005. The council has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and is well on the way to achieving that.
Last year, the council won the Gold award in the ‘Climate Action of the Year’ category at the Global Good Awards. That huge success was just the latest recognition for the environmental agenda at City Hall; including an Edie Carbon Reduction award, Energy Manager of the Year from ESTA, and a number of other energy efficiency awards. The council’s Passivhaus social housing scheme at Goldsmith Street also won the prestigious Stirling Prize in 2019.
The council also run a renewable energy provider Roar Power, alongside a number of other schemes including collective energy switching and group purchasing of solar panels.
An independent climate commission has just been announced, to discuss what further improvements can be made and how these can be communicated more widely.
Organisations and groups from the public, private and civic sectors across Norwich will be represented on the commission, which will support the goal of reaching citywide net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The commission will have a shared responsibility to generate awareness and use of best practice in support of the city’s environmental targets, alongside researching and reviewing new issues in the interests of stimulating informed opinion and debate.
The commission will produce position papers, actions plans and annual reports to be fed into the Norwich 2040 City Vision Covid Recovery Group and other key organisations, groups, networks and communities across the area.