Agenda item

Spotlight: Climate Change

Presentation by Jackie Mould, Head of Service, Performance, Intelligence and Improvement


Councillor Allen, Cabinet Member for Cleaner Greener Communities, supported by Jackie Mould, Head of Service, Performance, Intelligence and Improvement, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


Climate Emergency

-          State of the UK climate report 2017 – warming climate, rising sea levels and increased weather variability/extremes all expected to continue in the future; necessitates a state of “climate emergency”

-          IPCC Special Report on Global Warming (2018) recommends 12 years to make drastic action against climate change

-          Government target date of 2050 for Britain to produce “net zero emissions”

-          RMBC recent reductions of carbon emissions by 3% per year (fifth greatest reductions over the past decade)

-          Pressure is mounting to take further action within the context of central government targets, increased direct action (and other forms of participation) from citizens and the real effects of climate change e.g. recent floods


Rotherham Climate Emergency Motion

The Council declared a climate emergency in October 2019 and resolved to:

-          Propose an informed target for the Council’s carbon reduction by 2025

-          Develop a “Carbon Action Plan” towards these goals

-          Promote the strategy and engage with community, public and business

-          Lobby government for additional resources to support this strategy

-          Produce an annual Rotherham Climate Emergency progress report

-          Enlist support from partner organisations across Rotherham

-          Require all future Cabinet reports to include Climate Change Impact Assessments


Climate Emergency:  Key Issues


-          The scope of the action plan should, in the first instance, focus on direct emissions from Council activities (including contractors) and emissions associated with the Council’s energy consumption.  Emissions associated with other items and commodities that the Council consumes may be considered at a later point

Proposed Target

-          The emergent action plan has, at this stage, 2 concurrent focuses:-

RMBC: Council’s carbon emissions to be a net zero by 2030

Rotherham:  Borough-wide carbon emissions to be at net zero by 2040

-          The purpose of dual goals is to recognise the Borough’s carbon budgets as identified by experts at the Tyndall centre, as well as to recognise the need for the Council to lead by example in securing commitments and pledges from other organisations


Creating the Action Plan

-          Considerations must be made for both mitigation and adaption measure

-          Actions must be based on scientific evidence as well as political, economic and social reality.  Examples of best practice nationally and internally should be followed

-          Proposed themes – energy, transport, waste, built and natural environment, engagement, influence


Theme:  Energy

Interventions being considered include:-

-          Staff energy use/behaviours to be addressed with awareness campaign and targeted training

-          Energy efficiency addressed through surveying operational sites, identifying specific energy efficiency upgrades

-          Exploring alternative renewal energy sources


Theme:  Housing

Interventions being considered include:-

-          Tackling Council housing emissions directly through retrofitting low carbon heating and insulation systems.  Estimates show the cost of this would be cost neutral after 20-30 years

-          Building all new Council housing to Passivehaus standards or similar – reducing the need for heating

-          Retrofits for private housing which could be supported through matched loans, with savings-based repayments similar to Council housing recommendation (approximately 10-20 year cost recovery)

-          Investigate strengthening enforcement of minimum energy efficiency standards in rented private housing

-          Community energy switching scheme (cost neutral)

-          Development of community energy sector within Rotherham


Theme:  Transport

Interventions being considered include:-

-          Fleet emissions addressed by gradual electric conversion (replacing vehicles as decommissioned)

-          Grey fleet emissions addressed by attempting to reduce in-house car use and promote more sustainable transport

-          Working in partnership with transport partnerships and the City Region to support more and better public transport

-          Using licensing to encourage EV conversion in taxi firms (currently under consultation as part of taxi licensing consultation)

-          Expanding of EV charging infrastructure

-          Encourage cycling and walking


Theme:  Waste

Interventions being considered include:-

-          Waste Services and processing provided for operational buildings currently under investigation

-          Household waste is currently managed as part of BDR Partnership with Doncaster and Barnsley Councils.  Emission reduction is already a priority here.  Best course of action is to review BDR terms with the view of further improving waste management and carbon reduction from waste


Theme:  Built and Natural Environment

Interventions being considered include:-

-          Measurement and monitoring

Acquire accurate measurement of Borough-wide tree cover and carbon sequestration capacity (i-tree report; approximate cost of £10,000)

Begin to require developers make emission statements as part of planning applications and ensure emissions associated with planning are monitored as developments progress

Ensure emission data associated with Council construction is obtained through YORBuild2 or other frameworks

-          Sustainable planning

At next available opportunity review Local Plan and land-use planning with prioritisation of emission reduction

Co-produce Strategic Regeneration Frameworks with developers

Use Section 106 Agreements to require developers that developers pay into a carbon offset fund including financial value for:

Emissions “naturally” offset in a development

Replacement of green infrastructure lost if not replaceable on-site

-          Carbon sequestration

Increase tree cover by allocating planning budget to offset significant amount of trees being lost

Employ dedicating Planting Officer responsible for planting initiatives and surveying urban and woodland areas for planting


Theme:  Influence

The aim is

-          To encourage commitment to climate action from partners, suppliers, residents and businesses operating in Rotherham

-          Work with partners through the RTP to secure commitment and develop innovative and realistic solutions

-          Work with the Sheffield City Region to deliver City Region carbon emission targets and secure investment for climate actions

-          Strengthen and build public-private partnerships to offset emissions typically associated with economic growth

-          Lobby Central Government for support and resources and to influence national policy agenda

-          Collaborate with the third sector and community sector to building community involvement



The aim is to develop an effective public engagement and involvement strategy.  This will include:

-          Developing a communications strategy to promote the action plan to the public and enlist support and involvement

-          A key priority is Engagement and involvement from young people across the Borough

-          Staff training and communication including staff suggestion schemes

-          Engagement and community action through the Thriving Neighbourhoods model

-          Develop partnerships with expert/scientific groups and communities



-          The climate action plan aims to work to principles of sustainable development

-          This means that any climate actions should contribute to the triple bottom line of human wellbeing/social equity, economic growth/development and environmental protection

-          The action plan engages with the triple bottom line seeking opportunities to integrate climate protection with long term goals of economic growth and human wellbeing


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified;-


·           Air pollution was one of the NHS national priorities

·           Inclusion within the Place Plan

·           All Cabinet report templates were to include a section on the impact of climate change

·           There would be a series of events encouraging partners to take part

·           The Social Value Charter was to be considered by the RTP at its next meeting.  Within the Council Policy carbon reduction was one of the measures of which contractors had to demonstrate as part of their added value

·           A Climate Change Charter was worth exploring but was outside the principles of the action plan; it was down to each organisation to work out what they wanted to do towards those principles


Councillor Allen was thanked for her presentation.


Resolved:-  That the presentation be noted.

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