Sheffield City Council Calls for Bold Action on Climate Change

Sheffield City Council has today reacted to the formal publication of two new reports into the causes and effects of climate change.

The 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most complete assessment ever undertaken of the planet’s climate, set up by the United Nations. The IPCC does not carry out its own research, but bases its assessment on the published work of scientists across the world. The IPCC report is over 2000 pages in length and cites over 9000 scientific publications. It is the most thorough scientific document produced.

It has concluded that [direct quotes]:

• “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
• “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”
• “Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951-2010.”
• “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further global warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
• “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped.”

At the same time, research published by the Met Office in the academic journal ‘Nature Climate Change’ has found that global warming will lead to drier, hotter summers in the UK, which are more prone to both long droughts and short extreme downpours.

In response, Councillor Jack Scott, the Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “These new reports provide strong and compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening, is caused by human activity and will have a devastating impact if urgent action is not taken to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in mitigation.

“It highlights the need for a global, legally binding treaty to cut carbon emissions at the Paris Conference next year. We also need to decarbonise our energy supply and invest massively in clean renewable energy and create green collar jobs.

“Sheffield people remember the awful floods of 2007 and 2010 – these scientific reports are telling us that problems like those are going to happen more often and be even more severe. They paint a very bleak picture for our future, for our city and our planet, unless we take determined, consistent and bold action to reduce carbon emissions now.

“We’ve established a Green Commission to build agreement of what needs to happen and develop a proper plan to make sure we take action on the greatest threat our society faces. As one of the greenest cities, Sheffield needs to be a national leader in this work. We cannot afford to get this wrong.”

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Sheffield City Council Launches Green Commission – Come and Join Us

Sheffield City Council is announcing today that it is establishing a Green Commission for the city. This follows from the success of the Fairness Commission, which looked at how Sheffield can be a fairer more equitable place to live and work.

Employing this approach, the Green Commission will explore how Sheffield can be more sustainable and establish the benefits that this will bring across the City.

The Green Commission will create a vision and blueprint for the future of Sheffield as a whole and not just for the city council.

This is a huge task and the Council cannot undertake it alone. We need the public, businesses and organisations across our city to help us shape a vision for a sustainable future for Sheffield.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We already know Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in Europe and has a proud green heritage. But we also know that we face big challenges, particularly from climate change, which could change every aspect of our lives.

“We need to craft a clear vision for our city so we can take clear, long-term action to make sure that we are protecting our environment and building a strong economy.” 

“I’m really pleased to be launching this Commission that will take a long-term look at Sheffield’s environment and build a blueprint for action. I hope as many people as possible will get involved and come to the event we are holding to launch Sheffield’s Green Commission.”

 

The first public meeting of the Green Commission will be held on April 8th at 7pm in the Town Hall. This first meeting will be a chance to help guide the process and decide the key topics for the Green Commission to concentrate on.

Due to space constraints, numbers are limited to around 100 people so it is vital that you notify us in advance of your attendance and any special requirements you may have.

If you wish to attend please email us on greencommission@sheffield.gov.uk

 

Did you know? Sheffield’s Solar Energy Revolution

 

Amongst the 10 largest cities in the UK, Sheffield has gained an outstanding lead in renewable energy capacity since the launch of the FIT scheme – achieving over eight times as much installed capacity/1,000 population as London and fifteen times as much as Manchester.

With Leeds and Bristol in second and third place respectively, this flies in the face of geographical expectations that northern cities would not maximise solar PV as much as their southern counterparts.

 

Sheffield: Britain’s Leading Green City

Sheffield is rightly known one of Europe’s greenest cities.

We have produced the following infographic to highlight some of our achievements as well as the challenges and actions we will be undertaking to maintain this strong reputation.

Please feel free to share this.

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