Over 90 climate emergencies have now been declared by UK Local Authorities. Bristol was one of the first in November 2018 and the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees also announced a goal of being zero carbon by 2030. This was reiterated in his Climate Emergency Response last week.

Both local and national changes are needed if the UK is going to be able to address climate change. Local authority led movements are key. This is because they have the power to engage at a local scale and encourge individual action, and at the same time, they are putting pressure on central governments to bring in more supportive climate policies to enable them and others deliver their goals.

Regen have been helping Bristol take its first steps towards developing its plan for zero carbon. Our CO2 emission baseline and gap analysis report  identifies where the City’s emissions currently come from. This report is now informing the development of a targeted action plan and helping to communicate the scale of the challenge to stakeholders.

The data indicates that although carbon emissions from power have reduced due to increasing amount of renewable energy on the national network, there has been little change in emissions from heat or transport.

As well as quantifying current carbon impact, the report estimates two trajectories to understand how high Bristol’s emissions are likely be by 2030 if no action is taken beyond what is already planned. The trajectories quantify that a reduction of between 28% and 46% reduction is possible by 2030 with current policies.

This means that despite Bristol’s pre-existing and ambitious climate programmes including Energy Services Bristol, The City Leap and Warm Up Bristol, their zero carbon action plan will need to be much more ambitious. We are excited that Bristol is taking on the challenge!

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