Coventry's Climate Change Strategy
The Council is committed to tackling climate change and to making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the city. Coventry was one of the first cities to produce a Climate Change Strategy. The Climate Change strategy published in 2012 set a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 27.5% by the year 2020. Coventry achieved this in 2014 (6 years early). Our current Climate Change Strategy for the City ended in 2020 and a new strategy will be launched this year. This will take into account current UK and global policy and the urgency of the climate crisis that we face if not enough action is taken.
The 2008 Climate Change Act requires the UK to reduce its emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. However, the most recent Committee for Climate Change report indicates that the UK needs to be more ambitious and set net-zero carbon targets by 2050 or sooner and strong policies to make cities greener will need to be put into action. By setting a carbon target for Coventry, the new Climate Change Strategy will highlight the commitment we have to reducing our emissions and driving the shift toward a low carbon economy whilst continuing to meet the housing, transport and other needs of the city. Becoming a low carbon city will have wide ranging benefits such as job creation, industrial competitiveness and increased economic opportunities, energy security, improved public health, reducing inequality, social inclusion, ecosystem resilience, more green space, healthier lifestyles and improved accessibility.
The challenge of reducing the city's carbon emissions is significant and it will need the help of everyone in Coventry to achieve our goals.
47% of all UK CO2 emissions are linked to the construction and operation of buildings – both housing and commercial. Energy efficient buildings produce less CO2 emissions, are warmer, and are cheaper to run but without the necessary policies in places, they won’t be built, and we risk having to pay to retrofit today’s new homes with additional energy and carbon saving measures in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time.
With the adoption of the new Local Plan in December 2017, a new Energy Supplementary Planning Document is being proposed which will aim to deliver homes and commercial properties that are fit for the future and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Creativity and Partnerships
Coventry has a strong history of inventiveness and creativity with a successful track record in adapting to change and this is just another exciting chapter in that history. Coventry City Council recognises that meeting what must be the greatest global challenge it has yet to face needs a co-ordinated partnership approach not only engaging departments across the Council but also in partnership with its citizens, voluntary organisations, public agencies and businesses.
The city needs to develop new ways of working and use of technology which not only protect the environment and the health of its citizens but provides us with a unique opportunity to become a market leader and showcase the new products and technologies of the future which use our natural resources efﬁciently, protect biodiversity and minimise pollution and waste.
The city needs to set itself the highest standards in order to act as an exemplar to stimulate stakeholders to follow its example. Projects and initiatives which capture the imagination and demonstrate our commitment combined with a communications plan will ensure we highlight and celebrate the city’s successes and commitments to addressing the challenges we face not only to the people of Coventry, our potential stakeholders and the world at large.
The Council has a critical role to play: as its policies can shape future development; its use of regulatory and enforcement powers protect the environment; its potential to use ﬁscal measures to incentivise and steer more positive sustainable behaviours amongst the populace, and custodian of the city’s natural and cultural heritage.
As a service provider delivering essential services mindful of potential impacts upon the environment and sustainability; as a big customer using its purchasing power to inﬂuence the provision of products and services in a more sustainable way; as an enabler and an inﬂuencer working in partnership with others to secure funding attract in kind support; intelligence and connections to help create new opportunities for social enterprise, wealth creation and employment for the people of Coventry.