Labour Councillors declare a climate emergency and bring forward target for Sheffield becoming carbon neutral

Sheffield Labour Councillors have set out plans to bring forward the target for making Sheffield a carbon neutral city. Currently the Council’s target is to make Sheffield carbon neural by 2050, a target which was initially seen as very ambitious.

However, following a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which detailed the catastrophic consequences of global warming above 1.5c, Labour councillors are now declaring that we are facing a “climate emergency” and as such have called for the most ambitious plan possible to ensure Sheffield is doing everything possible to tackle dangerous manmade climate change.

Declaring a “Climate Emergency” is a growing trend across the world, with more cities making this decisive announcement to highlight the threat of climate change and the importance of taking real action to avoid its catastrophic effects.

Sheffield is now the largest city in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency.

Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Development Jack Scott:

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of the human race relies on us taking bold action on climate change, so I am delighted that Sheffield is boldly leading the way here. It is absolutely right that we declare an urgent climate emergency and put pressure on the government and other cities to recognise the dire situation we are facing.

“But we are proposing far more than just calling on others to act. Labour want to ensure that as a council and as a whole city we are doing everything we can to limit reduce carbon emissions and limit manmade climate change.

“Global warming is one of the most serious issues of the 21st century. We are facing a climate catastrophe if we don’t act. But as the IPCC report makes crystal clear – the time to act is still now. We are not too late – yet. I don’t want people to feel a hopeless inevitability about climate change. We all have the power to do our bit to reduce Sheffield’s carbon emissions.

“The council already has a plan to become carbon neutral by 2050 and while this is excellent, Labour wants to be more ambitious still. This is why we will be working with partners across the city to look at how we can bring this target forward by years, if not decades. I also want other Political Parties to help with this, which is why I’m asking for opposition Councillors to feed into this through the council’s scrutiny process”.

Welcoming this move Jenny Carpenter (Co-chair of Sheffield Climate Alliance) said:

“We are delighted that Sheffield City Council has listened to us and is now looking to take the bold step of announcing a Climate Emergency. We can all be proud that Sheffield is now the largest council to move forward in this way. We urge all Councillors to vote in favour of this important declaration and send a clear signal about the importance of tackling climate change.

“It’s positive that the Council is also aiming to bring forward the target date for becoming a carbon neutral city. Sheffield Climate Alliance is keen to work with the Council on this to make sure we have a more ambitious target and then develop a really good action plan to ensure we achieve it.”

ENDS

climate 3

 

Note to editors

Labour Group Motion for Full Council – 06 February 2019 –

Declaring a Climate Emergency

Proposed by Councillor Jack Scott
Seconded by Councillor Michelle Cook

That this Council:-

(a) believes that climate change and sustainability are amongst the biggest issues of the 21st century and the effects of manmade and dangerous climate change are already manifestly occurring;

(b) notes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other worrying changes;

(c) notes that this Administration has previously categorised climate change as the biggest social justice issue of this century which requires bold, radical action, and last year implemented the Green City Strategy – setting the goal of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050, showing our city’s commitment towards making our contribution towards the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement;

(d) recognises the critical role that cities have to play in delivering a zero carbon future and that whilst the present Government have, in this Council’s opinion, been woefully inadequate at rising to the scale of the climate change challenge, city leaders can take innovative solutions to address many of the causes and impact of climate change on a systemic level;

(e) recalls that the city has already undertaken a number of innovative and bold initiatives that are aimed at reducing our impact on the climate and reducing our city’s carbon emissions, but recognises that limiting global warming cannot be achieved by a single organisation or a technological silver bullet, and requires changes to how we all live, work and play and believes every citizen has a role to play in securing a climate safe future;

(f) further notes that, in recognition of this, the Administration established a Green City Partnership Board, with representation from key city stakeholders including our universities, the private sector and community and voluntary organisations, including the Sheffield Climate Alliance, with the agreed purpose of ensuring that Sheffield can achieve the Green City Strategy objectives and deliver a low carbon, resilient and sustainable city;

(g) notes that, over the period 2013/14 to 2016/17, the Council has reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 19%, and that this Administration has also initiated schemes to reduce carbon emissions throughout the city, such as:-

(i) as a landlord with over 40,000 homes, Sheffield City Council has invested in improving the fabric and insulation of our homes and installed high-efficiency gas central heating boilers in the majority of homes, and as a result, our homes have increased their SAP11 (Standard Assessment Procedure) energy rating from 64 out of 100 in 2005 to 71 in 2016-17;

(ii) use of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles as part of its vehicle fleet since 2017, noting that the vehicles use the wind powered mini-grid hydrogen refuelling station at the Advanced Manufacturing Park;

(iii) continued development of the district heat network, turning local waste into electricity and heat for the city, with up to 45MW of heat produced and supplied to over 140 buildings connected to the District Energy Network; in addition, the facility generates up to 21 MW of electricity to the National Grid, which is enough to power 25,000 homes;

(iv) using new technology where available, including 66,800 new LED streetlights;

(v) our Ethical Procurement approach ensures that the Council’s suppliers do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint;

(vi) as well as reducing carbon, we are committed to improving the city’s air – we are looking at implementing a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, tackling the most polluting vehicles, and we are the first large city to introduce anti-idling measures to stop people leaving their engines running outside schools; and

(vii) our transport strategy is seeking to make sustainable modes of transport the number one choice for people in Sheffield;

(h) notes that the IPCC report identifies cities as one of four critical global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action, but recognises this will require major transitions in how both mitigation and adaptation are undertaken and, therefore, we need to consider the opportunities the city has to deliver on a revised commitment, as there is only a limited advantage to be gained in setting a target without clear deliverable actions that will enable us as a city to achieve this;

(i) believes that, as a city, we have made considerable progress in carbon reduction but we need to go further still in light of the IPCC’s special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, which confirmed the catastrophic consequences of manmade climate change and urgent need to act;

(j) therefore declares unequivocally that our city, country and planet are facing a CLIMATE EMERGENCY;

(k) notes that as a result of this call for action, the Green City Partnership Board will be exploring how Sheffield should respond to the IPCC report, both in terms of actions as well as reviewing our existing commitment to become a zero carbon city by 2050; and

(l) supports this Administration’s commitment to report back to Full Council within 6 months, with a more ambitious date for the city to become zero carbon, accompanied by an action plan setting out the required work to deliver a new goal through all relevant strategies and plans, and would entirely and actively welcome the involvement of the cross-party scrutiny system in shaping and overseeing this vital work.

Video: Taking Action For Safer and Cleaner Parking

Our new camera car will automatically fine people who park on Zig-Zag lines.

Sheffield is also the largest city in the country to introduce “No Idling” zones outside schools.

The top 20 schools where air quality is a problem had signs put up over the summer and we are now enforcing this.

Sheffield’s Labour Council Condemns “Dangerous and Reckless” Fracking Approval in Nearby Community

fracking
Sheffield City Council has reacted with anger and disappointment at today’s announcement that fracking will be allowed in North East Derbyshire, which borders Sheffield.
 
The Council has formally objected to the application and has led the way in opposing shale gas extraction.
 
Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development at Sheffield City Council said:
 
“I am furious and dismayed at this decision. Let’s be clear here – fracking is dirty, dangerous and reckless and should not be happening in North East Derbyshire, Sheffield or anywhere else. It risks causing earthquakes, polluting our water and damaging our area’s beautiful countryside. I have asked our Planning Team to undertake an urgent assessment of the risks that will arise for Sheffield from today’s dangerous decision.
 
Even if fracking could be undertaken safely, which it can’t, it is still a grubby fossil fuel. These are causing catastrophic climate change and rapid global burning. We have already found more carbon than we can safely burn, so we certainly don’t want any more.
 
Instead, we need a revolution in renewable energy generation and a fair transition to a more sustainable way of living that protects our environment for future generations. The UK’s planning policies need to reflect this, not make it easier for a few big-boss fat cats to pile up even more money by raiding and pillaging our precious environment.”
 
Councillor Scott continued:
 
“It’s at times like this that the public look to elected representatives for clear leadership, not weasel words. I am disgusted with the actions of the local Tory MP, Lee Rowley, who isn’t anti-fracking and supports the Conservative government’s approach. North East Derbyshire deserves better. It’s clear we need a Labour government to ban fracking altogether and put in place the rules that will protect our environment for the many, not the few.”
https3a2f2fblogs-images-forbes-com2fucenergy2ffiles2f20182f022ffracking-stock-2-1200x800

Response to Government’s Latest Fracking Announcement

 

https3a2f2fblogs-images-forbes-com2fucenergy2ffiles2f20182f022ffracking-stock-2-1200x800

Central government today announced measures to support the development of British Shale Gas through local planning systems.

Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet for Development and Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, responded by saying: 

“We need a revolution in renewable energy, not more dirty fossil fuels.

But today it is clear that the government wants to press on with a reckless dash for gas, regardless of evidence, public opinion or the impacts on local communities.

This approach is an unwelcome mix of caving into the fracking industry and ploughing ahead with existing plans for fracking regardless of local views.

Despite their empty words about local consultation, the government is setting a dangerous precedent in taking away local decision making on planning decisions, and putting it in the hands of Tory ministers. This could see fracking unfairly imposed on areas against the will of local communities.

Labour has repeatedly made it clear we believe local communities do not want fracking in their area and we will continue to support our communities working to resist the unwanted advances of fracking companies, motivated purely by the huge profits they will make and not the legacy they will leave.”

Mayoral contender Richard Caborn looks to bring buses back into public control

image2
Mayoral contender Richard Caborn looks to bring buses back into public control
Bus services across South Yorkshire could be brought back into public control if Richard Caborn is successfully elected South Yorkshire Mayor.

Richard Caborn met today with Sheffield Council’s Lead for Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, and discussed how buses could be re-regulated in the city. These powers could be extended across South Yorkshire, in consultation with local authorities.

 

New powers have been made available to re-regulate buses through the Bus Services Act 2017. This would enable South Yorkshire to improve the quality of local buses, with a single set of standards across all services. Re-regulation could see a return to the days of cheaper fares. In addition, timetables can be improved and routes redrawn to better connect outlying areas. The entire fleet of buses across South Yorkshire could even become the same colour and branded consistently.

Under a franchised system, like London’s, South Yorkshire could take control of bus planning, with services run under contract by private operators.

Currently South Yorkshire’s bus market is entirely deregulated, with most services provided by private firms. Councils and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive have very limited say over how they are run. This means private bus operators like First and Stagecoach set the majority of their own routes, frequencies, timetables, fares, and standards for most services.

Richard Caborn is currently seeking to be selected as the Labour Party candidate for elected Mayor of South Yorkshire. Launching his campaign last week, Caborn promised to improve transport in the region. He also pledged to fight for better and fairer transport funding, highlighting a key disparity that currently allows ten times as much transport investment to be allocated to London, compared with South Yorkshire.

Seeking Selection as Labour Candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor, Richard Caborn said:

“For too long our buses have been run for the profit of the operator and not for the benefit of passengers. Deregulation has been an unmitigated disaster and, as Mayor, I will work with councils across South Yorkshire to bring our buses back into public control.

“Many people across South Yorkshire rely on a good bus service and what they get from the private bus companies at the moment quite frankly isn’t good enough, we need big changes to services in our region and this will be a priority for me. Better transport is also a key part of growing our economy.

“New powers are available, which will allow South Yorkshire to create a more efficient and affordable bus network, taking us back to the days of cheaper bus fares, with the added opportunity to better link services with trams and trains.”

Sheffield Council’s Lead for Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, said:

“I fully support Richard’s campaign to become Labour’s candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor and I am glad to see that he is prioritising public transport in this bold way.

“Many people in Sheffield travel by bus and, at present, passengers are getting a raw deal. Quite simply, fares are too high, buses are too infrequent and vehicles are too polluting. We need real action. That’s why I believe these new available powers to re-regulate bus services must be implemented urgently and in my view, Richard is the right person with the experience to deliver this.”

Council hope to introduce innovative electric vehicles powered by the waste they collect

councillors-tour-magtec-facilities-620x330

Sheffield City Council has applied for funding to convert two of its retired refuse collection vehicles, to run on electricity. The vehicles, operated by Veolia, would be powered by the waste taken away from households in Sheffield.

If successful, the project could reduce the dependence on diesel by converting existing vehicles at the end of their operation life. This plan could also save money as it would allow the waste contractors to continue to use vehicles that would normally be replaced with new ones. Under this scheme they could operate for at least another seven years.

The bid involves a number of partners, including award-winning Sheffield based firm, Magtec Systems Technology. The company is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and has exported over 500 around the world, all of which have been converted here in South Yorkshire. This includes 350 electric trucks to America, a fleet of electric vans to Europe and two electric buses to the Himalayas.

Councillor Bryan Lodge and Councillor Jack Scott recently toured Magtec facilities and met with the company’s founder, Marcus Jenkins.

Councillor Jack Scott, the Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability commented:

“We have been very clear that we need to take action in response to the challenges the city faces with air pollution. This scheme is exactly the sort of ground-breaking, innovative opportunity we need to seize to make sure Sheffield’s air is clean and safe for everyone.

“Magtec is such a great Sheffield company, with a proven track record around the world. As well as waste, there is clearly an opportunity for the bus companies in Sheffield to embrace this technology and move away from their dependence on diesel and I’ll be pushing them to do this.”

Councillor Bryan Lodge, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene, and responsible for waste collections said: “I was really pleased to have the chance to visit Magtec and be able to speak to Marcus and his team about the work they are doing.

“To be able to trial electric refuse vehicles in Sheffield is a fantastic opportunity, allowing it to be one of the first cities where the vehicles are powered by our waste, using a system that has been designed and manufactured here.”