A number of themes emerged from the presentations and discussions at the APSE Energy Summit in Falkirk last week.
Portsmouth City Council has recently developed a plan for a new car-free community and housing development on a peninsula adjoining the city. The intention is to create a 140-acre site which could feature 4,000 homes and a school with cars parked underground to leave streets pedestrian-friendly with a bridge to provide access to the new peninsula which would only be used by buses and bicycles.
APSE Energy recently listed 12 points to stimulate thoughts for those councils who have already or are about to, declare a climate emergency. The first of those points is leadership.
On Friday 12 July 2019 APSE hosted a seminar called ‘Climate Emergency: How is your council responding?’ The event took place in Liverpool and focused on local authority climate emergency declarations. The theme of the seminar was to highlight the importance of climate change action and putting policy into practice for frontline services. All of the slides from the seminar can be accessed here.
Energy efficiency - We all understand the need for action, the products to realise energy savings are commonplace, we have had years of experience installing it, there are objectives in the Clean Growth Strategy to promote it and we have been banging on about it for what feels like forever. So what is stopping us getting on with it?
We are working with a number of authorities to support them with strategies, action plans and projects as well as other related matters.
At a recent APSE Strategic Forum in Leeds, there was an in-depth conversation about the trend towards declaring climate emergencies and the impacts of doing so.
The Prime Minister’s net zero carbon emissions target of 2050 is the headline grabber and rightly so. It is a highly challenging, and some would say impossible, target but it has already fulfilled its initial purpose – to raise the profile of climate change to levels not previously realised.
Local authorities continue to be interested in the development of solar PV projects. This has become even more urgent with the swathe of climate emergency motions that have been passed across the country.
Those who think that the only issue local government officers and councillors (particularly new councillors) should be interested in is climate change emergencies need to think again. At the other end of the spectrum to the impacts of global climate change is managing utility bills within each local authority.