Hull City Council’s Cabinet has approved the start of its response to the climate emergency with a new 2030 Carbon Neutral Hull Strategy.
The council declared a climate emergency in April last year.
The strategy is built around eight themes of heat, power, mobility, consumption, fair transition, carbon sequestration, skills and jobs and innovation. It sets out the key challenges and opportunities within each theme and an initial set of actions.
The strategy will now be taken to Full Council for endorsement.
It is supported by a dedicated work programme focused on energy generation and transport decarbonisation to start the delivery of the strategy’s actions as well as a new team of staff to drive forward carbon neutrality across the city with partners, stakeholders, businesses and residents.
The strategy recognises that the council has a key role in providing leadership for the city, and this is set out at the start of the strategy.
Residents and businesses have already made great progress in reducing Hull’s carbon emissions over the past 14 years through housing and business energy efficiency schemes, product design and innovation and developing the skills for businesses that have a key role in decarbonising the future, such as wind turbine development and domestic energy systems.
The strategy sets out an exciting future for the city where new opportunities will arise that will require us all to make some large changes to how we travel around the city, the skills we will need for future employment, the investment we make in our homes and businesses and in what we choose to eat and buy.
It also builds upon the work on fuel poverty and ensuring employment for those currently working in carbon intensive industries.
The agreement of the strategy by Cabinet marks the start of a period of consultation with residents, stakeholders and businesses across the city to further explore themes in the strategy.
The consultation will also identify more actions required, gather examples of best practice and examine where people can contribute to developing the city into one that is carbon neutral and provides the jobs, skills and society that meets the needs of a sustainable future.
Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The effects of climate change are real and the strategy sets out how we need to respond as a council and city. As a council, we will lead the way with the investments we make in our city and staff to ensure that we are at the forefront of the changes required.”
Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and the environment, said: “Climate change is having a growing impact on our communities and neighbourhoods and what we do over the next ten years will shape the future for our children and our city. The conversations we will have over the next year to add to the actions in the Strategy are really important and I would encourage everyone in the city to get involved in any way they can.”
Hull City Council wants to know what residents think about the strategy, what action can be taken to address climate change and how the city might support businesses and individuals to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges. Email the council at email@example.com
[Jamie Goodwin – Hull City Council]
Response: Hull and East Riding Green Party
Alongside the current emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, climate change is the biggest potential threat to our city. Hull and East Riding Green Party is pleased that the Council is finally at the stage of putting its action plan to make Hull a carbon neutral city by 2030 to a full Council meeting.
We are, however, concerned at the lack of urgency shown by this timeline, given that this Green Party initiated motion was first passed by the Council over a year ago.
We trust that funding this crucial work will not be left to the public of Hull.
Instead of the government bailing out tax-evading, billionaire business people who pay their taxes overseas, they should be funding initiatives and infrastructure that make thriving, carbon neutral cities possible.
Parliament, having passed its own climate emergency motion, needs to recognize the important role Councils play in tackling climate change.
Hull City Council, whose budgets are already over-stretched due to year’s of underfunding and austerity cuts, cannot be expected to put their own resources into tackling climate change without additional funding from the government.
Mike Lammiman, coordinator of the Hull and ER Green Party
Response: Hull Carbon Neutral 2030 Group
It is a relief to hear that despite delays and fairly obvious distractions, Hull City Council’s Carbon Neutral Strategy has been approved at cabinet level and can now move forward to the next stage.
Climate change is still the biggest long-term threat to the future of Hull, while its largest opportunity is the development of carbon neutral strategies for Hull and the Humber region.
The transition to carbon neutrality asks for a fundamental shift in the operation of the city and the involvement of everyone who calls Hull home. Radical changes are required in many aspects of our lives, including the way we move around and heat our homes.
The world is a different place however since the strategy was proposed. We are actually living in the most reduced-carbon state (in some areas like transport) than we have been for decades.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused considerable misery, but has also allowed Hull communities to experience quiet roads, clean air and parents with time for their families. We have discovered just what is possible when options are limited.
Many businesses have found that they can operate with staff working remotely. A permanent reduction in road traffic allows community space to be allocated to carbon neutral infrastructure such as segregated cycle routes, safe routes to schools and electrified public transport.
Recent events have shown how localised manufacturing has stepped up to make headbands and gowns for PPE, communities are being strengthened and business flexibility is imperative to survival.
We need to keep vigilant that we don’t endorse business as usual as we prepare to exit lockdown and head into new plans for a carbon neutral future.
The carbon neutral target set by the Council is just over 9 years away. This group was set up to bring ideas to the table and make sure that the public had a say in how we might achieve it.
We aim to play our part to ensure that local resilience and a better quality of living are the blueprints for our future and that the public is a big part of this.
Lee-Ann Williams, Kevin Paulson
[Jerome Whittingham – Editor HULL IS THIS]