Agenda item

Update on the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan

Minutes:

A Public Forum Statement from Cllr Denyer was read aloud by Cllr Comley and a short discussion ensued about the scale and pace of the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan.  Examples were given on how and where investment is being targeted, for example, the Council is investing in programmes to leverage in further external funding to deliver on the actions.

 

The Sustainable City and Climate Change Service Manager then went on to present the published slide deck on the Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Plan Update which focussed upon:

  • Governance Arrangements – to ensure the Council has the right advice and expertise guiding it e.g. One City Environmental Sustainability Board and Bristol Advisory Climate Change Committee
  • Development of the One City Climate Strategy
  • Communication and Engagement
  • Integration into Council Systems
  • Climate Change Training

 

The following are some of the key points that were highlighted:

  • It was said that consultants are currently working on potential heat networks for the future.
  • The Council is working with businesses and also community groups by helping to point them in the right direction and develop a common strategy to work together on.
  • The Lottery - Climate Action Fund is coming soon and officers are working with a consortium to prepare bids for this. 
  • The Plan is being integrated in to the Councils service planning process.  Officers said that it was not just about environmental assessments on cabinet reports, but rather it needed to be embedded in the processes much earlier than that.
  • There is an identified need to ensure officers are trained in this field so they can ask the right questions of others including consultants etc.  This is about equipping people with the right information to make more and more changes.  It was said that Bristol is one the first councils to be doing this at this level, which makes it quite difficult.

 

Questions and comments from Members:

  • The Chair said she wasn’t sure why the Advisory Board was only meeting quarterly and not more often.  She therefore hoped there was a lot of work going on outside of the meetings. 
  • Several Members said they thought the pace of action appeared slow and it also frustrated many other people outside of the Council.  It was suggested that the Council needed to encourage more behaviour change rather than waiting for it to happen.  One Member suggested that the Council should ‘exemplify, explain, and enable it by removing barriers where they currently exist’.
  • It was asked if the Council is asking the Government to remove some of the barriers.  Yes it was said this was part of the process that was currently happening as part of the Strategy.  Officers did however highlight there was a slight conflict between ‘doing things quickly and doing things well’.
  • Is the Council working with Core Cities on this?  Officers said yes they are working on ‘common asks’ and there would be a joint declaration the following week.  Yes there were barriers and a need for more funding and skills to be developed; they all need to be in place for things to work at a pace and effectively it was said.
  • Another Member said he believed that the Action Plan should be both ‘top down’ so business can buy in to it and be encouraged to change their practices and ‘bottom up’ to  capture the enthusiasm of young people .
  • The Chair said she was slightly concerned that now there is an Action Plan coming thorough there will also be some level if complacency when actually there is still so far to go.  She said the Strategy ‘would not get us there’.  Officers said no but the Action Plan is what is being done to ‘get us there’ and this this will be completed in March 2020.  The Chair asked ‘whether it would have everything in it that was necessary to get us to be where we need to be’? Yes it was replied.  She asked if behavioural change in there ‘because without it we won’t get there’.  No was the reply. 

 

ACTION: It was agreed that Officers would bring a further update on the Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Plan in January 2020

 

Supporting documents: