Nottingham smashes climate targets four years early

Nottingham has surpassed its climate change targets four years early, according to Government data which shows a 33% reduction in the city's carbon emissions since 2005.

The achievement has beaten a target set by Nottingham City Council to reach a 26% reduction by 2020, and means Nottingham is now producing almost three tonnes less of CO2 per year per person than in 2005.

The city also now boasts the greatest reduction in emissions and the low emissions per person out of the largest UK cities outside London.

“It’s a great achievement to have met this important target four years early,” Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability Cllr Alan Clark said. “Nottingham is at the forefront of sustainability awareness and these latest figures maintain the city’s position as the UK’s most energy self-sufficient city.” 

“There has been a real move towards sustainability in the city with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors carrying out vital work to reduce our environmental impact. Beating our target is a fantastic recognition of the efforts across the city to achieve this aim.”

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Government data shows that a significant part of this reduction – around 13% – is due to the popularity of public transport, cycling and walking in Nottingham. Statistics also reveal that since 2011-12 there has been a significant fall in the city’s carbon emissions due to a reduction in domestic energy use. 

This coincides with Nottingham City Council’s programme of energy saving investments in social housing such as external wall insulation programmes which have also been open to private owners and the installation of solar panels on over 4,000 of council house roof tops.

In April, it was reported that a leisure centre in Nottingham is set to save the council an estimated £10,000 on energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 41 tonnes thanks to the installation of an 88KWp solar carport.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport Nick McDonald said: “We have Europe’s largest fleet of electric buses, the addition of the new Chilwell and Clifton tram routes and £6.1m invested in improving cycling routes to provide great alternatives to using cars to get around the city.

“We are also proving to be very successful in getting government funding to introduce innovative low emission transport options – electric charging infrastructure, all-electric buses, electric taxis, gas-powered buses and improved travel planning for businesses and their staff. The result is that we are continually reducing the environmental impact of transport in Nottingham.”

Sustainable cities

Nottingham is one of several leading UK cities and large towns that have advanced the low-carbon transformation in recent years through a number of innovative green schemes.

Last week in Bolton, the Council announced that street lamps replacement work throughout the borough has resulted in almost 15,00 lights in 2,463 seats being upgraded to new LED lighting since the rollout began in April last year.

By 2018, approximately 26,000 lights on residential streets and main roads will be replaced with lower carbon LED lanterns. The street lighting programme is set to save the council £14m over 20 years and reduce energy use around 50%.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Cllr Nick Peel said: “I’m really pleased that work is progressing so well. It’s an achievement to reach this milestone and the support and feedback from our residents has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The LED upgrade will ultimately save them money, as we will see significant savings due to reduced energy bills, carbon reduction and lower maintenance costs.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, Bristol Sport’s Ashton Gate Stadium recently partnered with Bristol City Council to install solar PV panels on one of its stands as part of a bold pledge by the former European Green Capital to be running entirely on clean energy by 2050.

And in Swindon, the UK’s first ever council solar bond was launched earlier this year, offering councils and local authorities the chance to raise capital for a 5MW community solar farm.

George Ogleby

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