Agenda item

Climate Emergency Action Plan 2021 and Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan 2021: July 2021 Progress Reports


Councillor Maddie Bridgeman (Cabinet for Environment and Street Scene), Councillor Jonathan Drean (Cabinet Member for Transport), Paul Barnard (Service Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure), Philip Robinson (Service Director for Street Services) and Paul Elliott (Low Carbon City Manager) presented the reports which highlighted the following -



Climate Emergency Action Plan 2021 (CEAP) -





the report sets out the progress, as at July 2021 and outlined the actions in the Plan as agreed by City Council at its meeting held on 25 January 2021;






the overall outcome of the plan was to strive to achieve net zero in the city by 2030; the Council intended to lead by example and was putting in place a number of activities this year to demonstrate this leadership and engage with residents, young people and the business community;






as of July 2021, 88 actions out of 89 had been started and activities were underway in order to achieve their respective targets; eight actions were already achieved;






90% of all actions were achieved in part and were progressing well; the actions reported as ‘underway’ were ongoing activities taking place throughout 2021; these actions were currently on course to be achieved in 2021;






eight actions had been completed (9%), 80 actions underway (90%) and not yet progressing 1 (1%) (89 in total);






one action had been identified as being at risk of not being fully achieved in this calendar year; this related to exploring mortgages for sustainable energy with South West Mutual; this option was raised informally with South West Mutual however, the Mutual was still applying for its banking licence and envisaged launching the bank in 2022; it was therefore likely that this action would not be achieved in 2021;






a number of departments of the Council were working proactively with partners and residents to offer meaningful engagement activities this year which included -







action 2.62: engage with the Youth Parliament to ensure that the voice of the children and young people was heard in relation to the Climate Emergency;








action 2.63: organising an annual Climate Emergency Summit for young people;








action 2.64: organise a themed day at Plymouth Libraries on the topic of climate change;






Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan 2021 (CCRP2) -






the report described the position, after six months, in relation to the actions set out in the CCRP2, agreed by the City Council at its meeting on 25 January 2021; it highlighted the successful progress of all the actions and described some of the key achievements to date;






the overall outcome of the plan was to strive to reduce corporate carbon emissions to zero by 2030; the Council intended to lead by example and was putting in place a number of activities this year to demonstrate leadership combining behaviour change with hands on actions to remove sources of emissions;






as at July 2021 and six months into the second CCRP, all of the 25 actions had been started with activities underway to achieve their respective targets; whilst all the actions would likely take the full 12 months to achieve their targets, all were progressing well, with no immediate signs of any issues which might compromise completion;






88% of all actions were underway to be completed; there were no actions that were not progressing yet; three actions had already been completed;






key achievements which had been completed included -







a new tracker system that captured and reported the carbon dioxide emissions from all fleet vehicles;








changes to the Council’s Corporate Plan had been made and were signed at the City Council meeting held on 14 June 2021;








the roll out of the e-learning training programme on climate change for staff and councillors;







activities of note that had been progressed to date included -








£5m of funding had been secured from two applications to the Public Decarbonisation Fund;








£36,500 had been secured from Heat Networks Delivery Unit (Round 10) toward district energy;








seven vehicles with electric lifts had been purchased and were now operating as part of the fleet.


The Committee discussed the following key issues -



whether a specific target had been set for reducing carbon emissions from vehicles;




as a result of South West Mutual being unable to attain its bank licence until 2022, whether other options had been explored or another provider had been considered;




whether an indication of the cost of the nine charging hubs could be provided, together with the overall total of the EV charging points that would be installed across the city;




sought clarification as to the location of the new community solar farm;




whether consideration had been given to developing groups of EV charging points for taxis around the city and in particular the city centre (such as the initiative that had been implemented in London called the ‘iron lung’);




with regard to the recent decision to scrap the charges for rubble and domestic waste at Chelson Meadow, how this fitted politically with the waste hierarchy in changing behaviours (Plymouth was now the only local authority in the South West that did not charge for this type of waste) and how did this decision fit with climate change;




why the decision had been taken to remove the need for residents to register for the garden waste scheme and how the garden waste rounds would now be managed; the registration for this service had been key in ensuring that this waste service was more efficient and provided a better service for residents, whilst saving money and reducing the Council’s carbon footprint (as crews were not having to drive around looking for garden waste bags/bins);




with regard to the recent decision not to charge for the disposal of rubble and domestic waste, whether in the short term, there was evidence that fly tipping in the city had decreased;




whilst it was pleasing to hear that the work of the ambassadors would continue (with the focus on waste and travel) and also the conversations with Cabinet colleagues, what was the plan for digital engagement which would provide an opportunity for residents to engage in the climate change agenda;




sought clarification on the introduction and aims of the new active travel campaign;




whether consultation with local groups would be undertaken in the summer of 2021, regarding the Local Cycling and Walking Implementation Plan, or if this would be delayed;




whether there were plans for an improved engagement process regarding the ‘leave your car at home day’ scheduled to be held in September 2021, how the success of the previous event and the forthcoming event would be measured and whether data from last year’s event had been captured;




whether work would be undertaken with private home owners and businesses to help them to become energy efficient (such as changing to energy saving light bulbs);




to what extent was the Council engaging with the business community, not just the largest employers in the South West but the small and medium enterprises who would have a huge contribution to make in the climate change agenda;




whether in future reports information could be provided on how the business community was being engaged and incentivised;




the Resurgam Charter had been worked on for a number of years and across Administrations and with a number of organisations including the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Federation and Build Plymouth, with the aim of ‘building back better’; the Charter did include how businesses were run which was especially important for small businesses; businesses that signed up for the charter did receive support and it was considered that this may be an opportunity in engaging with businesses on the climate change agenda;




considered that there was an opportunity for the Council to both approach and engage with small businesses through the Trading Standards department’s ‘buy with confidence’ scheme; current communications relating to the scheme did not include environment or climate change issues;




it was also considered that the Council had an opportunity to use the data collated from the business grants, to engage with the business community in the city, in order to assist them to reduce their carbon footprint;




whether work could be undertaken with organisations, tenants/ customers who rented buildings from Plymouth City Council, to investigate the feasibility of installing solar panels on the roofs of the buildings; this would help in reducing overheads whilst sharing the surplus electricity that had been generated;




sought confirmation that grass cutting would not increase, as this not only reduced the Council’s carbon footprint by not using equipment to cut the grass but also increased carbon capture; (it should be noted that a large number of residents had been happy with how the Council had managed its grass land); it would be disappointing if the wild areas and the bee corridors were lost due to a change in the policy;




the importance of reviewing the grass cutting policy to ensure that the Council got it right and the ability to address the issues that had been raised by residents which included children being unable to play in green areas where the grass had been kept long, dogs getting ticks due to walking through long grass and the inability of a veterans wheelchair team to play rugby due to the long grass; there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour in certain wards and whether this could be attributed to grassed areas where young people congregated not being cut;




with regard to the review of the grass cutting policy, it should be recognised that it would be difficult to keep all residents happy.


The Chair welcomed the six month update on both the Climate Emergency Action Plan and the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan and whilst there were many positive issues raised, he would like to see areas of weakness such as issues that the Council had not got quite right in future reporting to the Committee.


The Committee requested the following -



a copy of the draft Local Cycling an Walking Implementation Plan, when available;




provide details of the future model for the ‘leave your car at home day’ initiative;




provide the data captured from the previous year’s ‘leave your car at home day’ initiative;




to include in future reports to the Committee, how the Council was engaging with the business community and whether businesses were being incentivised to undertake carbon reductions initiatives.


The Committee noted the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) 2021, July 2021 progress report (including details set out in Appendix 2 and 2a); and the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan (CCRP) 2021, July 2021 progress report (including details set out in Appendix 3 and 3a).


Supporting documents: