THOUSANDS of comments from hundreds of people are helping to shape Leicester’s local response to the global climate emergency.
Leicester City Council has published the findings of its 12-week Climate Emergency Conversation, which ran from November 2019 to February 2020.
An online questionnaire was completed by 374 respondents, who were asked to rate the city council’s proposals to tackle the climate emergency by priority, from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).
The responses show a very high level of support for the proposed actions with an average overall rating of 4.41.
Of the six themes consulted on, proposals around Land Use received the highest overall rating of 4.63, with proposals for Travel receiving the lowest average rating at a still high 4.29.
Overall scores for other themes were as follows: Waste (4.5); At Work (4.43); Consumption (4.34); and At Home (4.3).
All proposed actions were supported. Of the 85 individual actions proposed, 28 received average ratings higher than 4.5 with just three scoring an average rating of slightly lower than four.
Among the highest rated proposed actions were seeking agreement for low-carbon building when selling land for development (4.75); ensuring the new local plan addresses the climate emergency (4.72); and more tree planting (4.71)
The consultation questionnaire also prompted over 4,300 individual comments, suggestions and ideas.
The most commonly made suggestion was that more information should be provided to people about the actions they can take to help tackle the climate emergency.
Leicester City Council also hosted two climate assemblies. The Leicester’s Climate assembly involved a representative group of 53 local residents to deliberate on the proposed action plan. The Young People’s Climate Assembly also brought together 104 pupils from 12 local schools to discuss how Leicester should respond to the climate emergency.
Both events showed a good level of support for most of the actions proposed, and highlighted the additional potential benefits for health, wellbeing and community engagement. Some concerns were raised about the impact of the cost of some actions and barriers to changing people’s behaviour. Both events showed a very high level of support for Leicester to take urgent action on the climate emergency.
Eight city primary schools also held their own mini-climate conversations with help from the city council’s environmental education team and shared their findings as part of the wider consultation.
In addition, separate responses were received from nine community events held with council support, along with written responses from 10 groups or organisations and 18 individuals.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who took the time to take part in the city’s climate emergency conversation.
“We’ve had thousands of useful comments, ideas and suggestions which will all be used to help us develop how the city responds to the climate emergency.
“One thing is very clear; people recognise that climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world and want to see urgent action. We will be aiming to capture that in an ambitious action plan and help make Leicester a carbon neutral city as quickly as we possibly can.
“It’s a huge challenge and the council can’t do this on its own. We are already working with key partners and calling on the Government to support Leicester in its response to the climate emergency.”
To view the findings of Leicester’s Climate Emergency Conversation in full, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/ClimateEmergency
Leicester’s new climate change strategy and action plan are now in their final stages of development and are due to be launched this summer.