Leader of Coventry City Council shows support for emission reduction targets

Published Thursday, 22 October 2020

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, has this week endorsed and supported Eurocities’ call to revise EU 2030 climate targets to at least 55% by 2030.

Coventry has joined 58 cities from across Europe who have signed a letter to the President of the Council of the EU in favour of an ambitious revision of the EU 2030 energy and climate targets to at least 55% by 2030, up to 65% with the right support, compared to 1990 levels alongside funding to be channelled to a green and just recovery in cities. Emission levels were first measured in 1990 and all targets have been measured against that baseline level. Up to 2019 emissions across the EU were 23% down – despite GDP increasing by 61%.

Eurocities’ work with over 145 of Europe’s largest cities, including Coventry, to improve the lives of over 130 million residents across 39 countries.  Like hundreds of cities across the world Coventry has committed to reducing carbon emissions and is leading the way in areas like transport with plans for very light rail, on street electric charge points, electric buses and the UK battery industrialisation centre.

Coventry has already been recognised as a global leader on climate action, achieving a place on the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP) one of only four Local Authorities in the UK to be on the Global Cities A List.  According to the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) latest figures (2018) Coventry has seen its emissions reduce by 39% since 2005. 

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of the Council said, “We understand the climate change challenge and its significance today as well as for future generations and this is why we are showing our support with Eurocities’ campaign to revise the EU 2030 emission targets to be more ambitious.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration said, “We know how important it is to be clear on the challenges we face and the steps we need to take to reduce carbon emissions in the city.  The green industrial revolution is coming, and we want to be at the heart of it for the environmental benefits it will bring as well as the jobs and economic opportunities.

“We also know we need to work together, this is not just an action for the Council but also key partners in the city, including community and businesses, which is why I have asked for the establishment of a ‘Commission for a Sustainable Zero Carbon Coventry’.  Working together I’m confident we can face the challenge and make a real and positive difference in the city.”

Coventry is one of the first cities to have a team of Council environmental specialists who provide practical support and advice to businesses helping them to reduce their impact on the environment through funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy powered solutions, the adoption of better business practices to improve efficiency, reduce pollution and waste .  

Coventry is at the heart of innovation in the automotive and transport sector in particular and the shift away from petrol and diesel engines is a major opportunity for the City to create new opportunities for economic growth and employment which is sustainable from both an economic and an environmental perspective.

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