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Leicester among global ‘A list’ for leadership on climate action

Published on Thursday, November 17, 2022

2 minute read

St Margaret's Bus Station solar array

LEICESTER has retained its place as a global leader on climate action, achieving a top score on CDP’s 'Cities A List'.

It means Leicester is one of 122 cities to receive an A score from environmental impact charity CDP for bold leadership, ambition and transparency on environmental action its response to the climate emergency, despite the pressures of a challenging economic situation.

This year, for the first time, over 1,000 cities received a rating for their climate action from CDP, with Leicester among the 12 per cent to receive the top A rating.

To score an A, a city must have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, published a climate action plan and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and in the future, among other actions.

CDP celebrated Leicester and the 121 other cities on the A List for showing urgent and impactful climate action, having ambitious emission reduction targets, and for building resilience against climate change. Its analysis also shows that A List cities are taking twice as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “We’re immensely proud to be recognised by CDP for our work on climate action and ambition to become a carbon net zero city.

“When we launched our first Climate Emergency Strategy in 2020, we were under no illusion about the scale of the challenge we had set ourselves as a city.

“As a council, we are already working hard to cut our own emissions and to support local people, schools and business to make the changes needed to help reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint.  We have a good record on carbon reduction which we can continue to build on. But we know we need to do much more and to do it rapidly.

“To meet our ambitions as a city will require significant and ongoing support from the Government and local stakeholders. We all have a role a play.”

Since launching the first Leicester Climate Emergency Action Plan in 2020, Leicester City Council has led on a range of initiatives and secured external funding representing an investment of over £120million in low carbon initiatives.

This includes:

  • Investment of over £14million in the UK’s first carbon neutral bus station building, which opened in June as part of the St Margaret’s Gateway regeneration project
  • Progress on an £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport backed by £40million from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF)
  • Investment of around £25million secured through the Salix Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for low carbon, energy efficient improvements to more than 90 council buildings, including schools, leisure centres, libraries and community centres.
  • 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.
  • Launching an £8million programme of work that will see external insulation fitted to over 400 homes in the city, including council houses and housing association properties
  • Securing £19million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for new low carbon workspaces at Pioneer Park and Ian Marlow Centre.

Latest annual figures provided by the Government’s department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show that Leicester’s overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for 2020 were 1,209 ktCO2e. This represents a reduction of almost 50 per cent on the city’s 1990 baseline of 2,388.3 ktCO2e.