LEICESTER has been named as a leader on climate action and transparency, achieving a place on a global ‘Cities A List’.
International climate research charity CDP has named Leicester as one of only 95 places in the world – including Paris, Helsinki, Stockholm and Reykjavik – to achieve its top ‘A’ grade for leadership in environmental transparency and action.
It is also one of just 11 in the UK – including Bristol, Greater Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham - to receive the top rating.
To score an A, a city must disclose publicly its city-wide emissions, have set an emissions reduction target and a renewable energy target for the future; and have published a climate action plan. An A List city must also have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards and it must be making progress towards achieving its ambitious goals.
Over 1,000 cities disclosed their climate data through CDP in 2021. Fewer than one in ten received the top grade.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “We’re very proud to achieve an A grade and to be recognised by CDP for our ongoing work to reduce carbon emissions across our city and do our bit to tackle the climate emergency.
“As a city we have almost halved our carbon emissions since 1990 – and as council we’ve cut our own carbon footprint by two-thirds in just over ten years. Last year we published the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy and will continue to deliver important projects and develop our ambitious plans to help us become a carbon neutral and climate-adapted city by 2030
“Being named as one of just 95 cities globally that are leading on climate action and transparency is a huge endorsement that we’re on the right track, but we’re under no illusion that we still face an enormous task.”
Kyra Appleby, CDP Global Director of Cities, States and Regions, said: “We are thrilled to champion the 95 cities from around the globe on CDP’s 2021 Cities A List. A new generation of climate conscious cities is showing what is possible when action replaces words – implementing innovative solutions to cut emissions and adapt to climate change, and demonstrating determined leadership on the defining issue of our time.
“We hope the example of A List cities’ efforts and actions will encourage far greater numbers of cities to ramp up their climate ambition, and work together with government and business, to safeguard our planet for generations to come.”
Leicester City Council declared a climate emergency for the city in 2019 and launched the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy last year.
Since then, the city council has led on a range of initiatives and secured external funding of over £100million to invest in low carbon schemes across the city.
- Investment of £13.5million in construction of the UK’s first carbon neutral bus station building as part of the St Margaret’s Gateway regeneration project.
- A successful bid for £19million of Government funding towards a £47million investment in increasing the city’s fleet of electric buses to over 100, backed by local bus operators Arriva and FirstBus.
- Securing over £24million of Government funding through the Salix Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for a programme of low carbon, energy efficient improvements to more than 90 council buildings, including schools, leisure centres, libraries and community centres.
- Progress on an ambitious £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport backed by £40million from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).
- Developing plans to build 38 new A-rated low carbon council houses in the Saffron Lane area and launching a £3.1m programme to fit external wall insulation and other energy efficient measures to about 250 homes – including 80 council houses – by Spring 2022. The council has also recently submitted a bid for over £4million from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to further extend this work across the city.
To find out more visit www.leicester.gov.uk/ClimateEmergency