8 March 2022

Climate Change Scrutiny Committee


July 2021



29 June 2021


Report of the Head of Carbon Reduction


Portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


Report of the Head of Carbon Reduction


Portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


Climate Change Strategy & Update




1.        This paper provides an update on the Climate Change Strategy, Engagement Plan and Carbon Reduction Activity.


Climate Change Strategy


2.           The evidence base and modelling work has been completed. The strategy narrative is under development in accordance with the shared Strategy Approval Process (Annex D).

3.           A summary of the content within the Strategy is presented in Annex A. It briefly comprises of:

·           Foreword

·           Leader

·           Partner Signatories

·           Executive Summary

·           Section 1: Background Information

·           Section 2: The Ambition

·           Section 3: Objectives

·           Section 4: Co- benefits & Case Studies

·           Section 5: Next Steps

·           Glossary and Further Reading


4.           Further work has been undertaken to understand York’s emissions profile in more detail, the carbon reduction potential by sector, the stakeholder perspective of risks and opportunities for each priority area and the local case studies (see Annex B: Climate Change Strategy Update)


5.           A set of principles is commonly applied to our core strategies:

                      i.       Build inclusive, healthy and sustainable communities

                     ii.       Create new employment and investment opportunities

                    iii.       Adapt to change

                   iv.       Increase cooperation and collaboration

                     v.       Good governance



Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan


6.           We are now moving into the second phase of the Climate Change Strategy engagement plan; following on from the attitudinal survey carried out in phase one of Our Big Conversation, which informed the initial development of those strategies.

7.           This more targeted phase of engagement will allow us to test the acceptability of priorities within the strategies; deepen insight into the approach needed to implement these successfully; and understand the aspirations and attitudes of ‘missing audiences’ in phase one engagement.

8.           The approach includes a proposed ‘Climate Corner’; a physical roadshow style stall and engagement in public spaces at Explore Libraries discussing carbon reduction, climate hazards, biodiversity and behaviour change with residents.

9.           Phase two will also include targeted focus groups, aimed at demographics underrepresented in phase one, demonstrating that the council listens and wants to hear from everyone.  Target audiences include age 16-24 year olds NEETs and University students and alumni.

10.       The phase two engagement plan joins up engagement activities across strategies, covering climate change, economy and transport, to demonstrate coordination and minimise “consultation fatigue”.

11.       Activity will be delivered in March/April, leading up to publication of the Climate Change Strategy in the Summer.

Carbon Reporting

12.       The Council Plan made a commitment to provide date on:

                                vi.   Carbon emissions across the city

                               vii.   Level of CO2 emissions from council buildings and operations (Net emissions)

13.       These commitments have been fulfilled with the publishing of the first CYC Corporate Emissions Report and the second citywide York Emissions Inventory on 10th November.

14.       York has received a ‘B’ ranking from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for our response to the Cities 2021 Questionnaire. The survey has been created to assess and support cities to measure and manage their environmental risks, impacts, and action. This is the first time we have received a ranking. The regional and global distribution is shown below:

15.       Areas identified for improvement include producing a renewable energy target, energy efficiency target and mitigation plan. The Climate Change Strategy will incorporate these elements and should lead to an improved score in 2022 (Further details in Annex C: CDP City of York Scorecard)


Solar for Schools

16.       Carbon emissions from maintained schools were 955tCO2 for 2020/2021 and energy costs for some schools were over £50,000 in the same year. Supporting our schools to reduce energy consumption will deliver both carbon and financial savings.


17.       Solar for Schools (SfS) is a national programme providing fully funded solar panels to reduce a school’s energy costs and emissions. SfS are looking to engage with schools across York to participate in the programme.


18.       Generated electricity is sold to the school at a discounted price under a long-term (25-year) agreement. This reduces energy bills, provides long-term price certainty, reduces exposure to increasing energy and supports budget planning. All pre, during and post-installation support and advice (including 25 years of maintenance) is covered by SfS.


19.       The Carbon Reduction team will support our maintained schools to participate in the programme; managing the process for assessing eligibility and suitability.

20.       Any schools interested in participating can carbon.reduction@york.gov.uk 




21.       Scrutiny are asked to review the report and annex for consideration and discussion


Council Plan


22.       The Climate Change Engagement Plan relates to the ambitions for York to achieve net carbon zero and the Greener and Cleaner outcome.




·           Financial – there are no financial implications

·           Human Resources (HR) – there are no HR implications

·           Equalities – the activities described in this report support the ambitions to be a sustainable city. An Equalities Impact Assessment will be completed for the Climate Change Strategy    

·           Legal – there are no legal implications in relation to this report.

·           Crime and Disorder – there are no crime and disorder implications in relation to this report.  

·           Information Technology (IT) – there are no IT implications in relation to this report

·           Property – there are no property implications in relation to this report.

·           Other






Contact Details




Shaun Gibbons

Head of Carbon Reduction

Corporate Strategy




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Janie Berry

Director of Governance



Report Approved




Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background papers




Annex A: York Climate Change Strategy_Content Summary

Annex B: York Climate Change Strategy Update

Annex C: CDP City of York Scorecard

Annex D: Publishing the Strategies - process