Agenda item

Update on Climate Change Action Plan

[To receive a verbal update on the Climate Change Action Plan]. 


The Director for City Environment gave a short presentation updating Members on the Council’s, Climate Change Action Plan.  He commented that it was a topic which Members might wish to revisit in the next municipal year in more detail.  The Council had declared a Climate emergency early last year.  A commitment to an action plan had been agreed at the end of last year.  A Climate Emergency Working Group had been formed, which cut across all Council Directorates and had good representation from each Service.  The aim was to reach the target of making all Council activities net carbon zero by 2028.  The Council had appointed a Climate Champion, Cllr Barbara McGarrity QN, who had been Chairing the Member Climate Working Group.  The Council had changed all of its electricity to renewable energy, which had really helped with reducing the carbon footprint of the Council. 


The Director for City Environment remarked that a Citizen Assembly had been held with residents from the City.  The Assembly discussed what the Climate Change Action Plan needed to focus on and what the responsibilities the Council, Community Groups and Citizens should be as a whole.  A public consultation then took place on the action plan and this was then adopted by the Council in September 2020.  A new Project Manager had been appointed in February 2021. 


The Director for City Environment presented a slide showing the overall City Carbon Footprint of the City.  The overall City Carbon Footprint for 2019 /2020 for the Council was 12,423 tonnes.  They were working with partners to influence wider decarbonisation as industry and commercial, domestic and transport accounted for much of the carbon emissions with the City.  Robust Governance and oversight measures were being put in place, including within Council reports to help achieve the net zero target by 2028 for the Council. 


The Chair asked about boiler scrappage schemes and if Wolverhampton Homes were facilitating them and the use of Solar Panels on Council buildings and assets.  The Director for City Environment responded that they were working with Wolverhampton Homes and were in discussions about their action plan.  There were 22,000 homes to consider.  It was clear that some houses were worthwhile investing in energy efficiency measures, whilst others needed to be rebuilt.   The Council would also be working with private rented accommodation and privately owned, to make sure schemes were available.  Solar panels were in place across some Council assets and they were looking to introduce more in the future.  There was a major plan to build a solar farm to power the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital site.  Any alternative fuel or energy the Council would consider as part of its plans moving forward.


The Portfolio Holder complimented the team on what they had achieved to date on climate change, citing some examples such as electric charge points, plans for a solar farm and the planting of trees.  The Council had been awarded three national awards for their work. 


The Chair asked if the Council were engaging with any transport providers on matters such as emissions from buses, which he doubted were all of Euro 6 standard.  The Director for City Environment responded that they were in discussions with transport providers.  They were in contact with Transport for West Midlands about installing an electric charging point for buses at the major bus station in the City.  The Council were part of the Quality Bus Partnership which did restrict certain buses from entering the City, this would be strengthened in the coming years.       


A Member of the Panel stated that climate change was now a core policy for local authorities and for nations.  He added that having a Member Climate Champion had been a real benefit for the City and thanked them for their work.  The next thirty years were going to be very important for climate change. 


The Chair proposed that an update on the Climate Change Action plan should be an item for the Panel to consider in the municipal year at an appropriate time.  As it was the last meeting of the municipal year, he thanked Members and Officers for their contributions to the Panel meetings throughout the last year. 



Resolved: That an update on the Climate Change Action Plan should be considered by the Panel in the new municipal year at an appropriate point. 



The meeting closed at 7:09pm.