12 April 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.           The Draft York Climate Change Strategy (the Strategy) provides a framework for the city in tackling climate change. It sets out our approach to reducing carbon emissions, that are under our direct influence, to net zero and creating a city that is resilient to the impacts of climate change.


2.           The Strategy is the culmination of a robust scientific evidence base and extensive engagement/consultation that demonstrates the opportunities and challenges for York. It recognises the role of the council, but emphasises the need for city-wide action and accountability.


3.           It is both ambitious – requiring a 54% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030; and achievable – providing future scenarios that are based on expert industry and government projections.


4.           The case for action is emphasised by highlighting the economic, social and environmental co-benefits of meeting the objectives in this strategy and it’s development has been aligned with the emerging Economic Development and Health & Wellbeing strategies.




5.           The Committee are asked to:


i.      Review and comment on the development of the Draft Climate Change Strategy before Executive are asked to recommend the Draft Strategy is published for further consultation.


Reason:     The Draft Climate Change Strategy is a shared strategy for the city. It requires city-wide support and city-wide action to deliver on the ambition. A final round of engagement and consultation is planned to align with the development of the Economic Strategy.


Climate Change Strategy


6.           The Draft York Climate Change Strategy draws on a robust scientific evidence base to highlight the importance of tackling climate change and produce an ambitious, yet achievable emissions reduction pathway for York. The pathway shows that a 54% reduction in carbon emissions is possible by 2030. 

7.           The approach to achieve net zero, therefore, will consist of four elements:

               i.  Significant emissions reduction along the High Ambition pathway with actions that can be delivered with currently available technology, deployment rates and policy

             ii.   Going beyond the High Ambition when new technology, deployment and policy mechanisms allow and attracting new investment

            iii.  Removing remaining emissions from the atmosphere through nature based and technological solutions

            iv.  Adapting our city to the effects of a changing climate

8.           The strategy identifies eight priority themes, with specific objectives associated with each of these themes. In total, 32 objectives have been identified.

9.           For each theme, the Strategy shows what is required by 2030. The change needed is ambitious, but based on realistic projections by technology and industry experts as part of the SCATTER Tool modelling.

10.       The Strategy features a Foreword by the chair of York Climate Commission and examples of best practice from across the city.

Strategy Alignment

11.       The council is following a sustainable approach to developing the city’s ambitions for the decade ahead.  The goal of sustainability is to, “create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.” or put simply - ‘Enough, for all, forever’.

12.       This means that sustainable approaches need to consider the interdependencies between actions that might affect the environment, society, and the economy. To this end, the council is developing three strategies to inform city-wide direction over the next decade.  These strategies cover health and wellbeing, economic growth and climate change.

Public Engagement

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

14.       Resident engagement activities will be delivered in May/August, leading up to publication of the strategies in the Autumn. 

15.       Resident engagement will be both targeted (to younger people and those seldom heard) and more broadcast (to all residents, businesses, stakeholders).

16.       We are moving into the second phase of the resident engagement plan; following on from the attitudinal survey carried out in phase one of Our Big Conversation, which informed the initial development of the strategy.

17.       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.

18.       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.

19.       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.

20.       The targeted engagement activity will be complemented by an online survey open to all residents, businesses and stakeholders.

21.       We will invite city partners to comment on the strategies and also share the strategies with them as part of the development of the 10-year plan.

22.    The latest version of the Draft Strategy is now being shared with the Scrutiny Committee for comment and feedback before the Executive are asked to approve the Draft ahead of the next stage of public engagement.




23.        Internal and external workshops have shaped the content of the Draft Climate Change Strategy.  
24.        The resident attitude survey has informed the Strategies, with a second round of engagement scheduled once the Draft has been approved.
25.        The Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change has approved the latest version of the Draft Strategy.


Council Plan


26.       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 implication associated with the report.  Financial implications associated with delivery will be included within the future Action Plan.

·           Human Resources (HR) – There are no HR implications associated with the report. HR implications associated with programme delivery will be included within the future Action Plan

·           Equalities – An Equalities Impact Assessment is underway for the Climate Change Strategy. This will be completed before the conclusion of the next engagement phase

·           Legal The Constitution notes the requirement to approve the Climate Change Strategy at Full Council. Any issues requiring legal support will be addressed when they arise.

·           Crime and Disorder – There are no crime implications associated with this report

·           Information Technology – There are no IT implications associated with this report

·           Property – There are no property implications associated with this report

·           Other - Communications and engagement is a core element of the development of the Strategy.


Contact Details




Shaun Gibbons

Head of Carbon Reduction

Corporate Strategy




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Claire Foale

Assistant Director Policy and Strategy


Report Approved



5 April 2022


Wards Affected: 







For further information please contact the author of the report



Background papers


Agenda for Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 5.30 pm (york.gov.uk) – item 22 and 23

Agenda for Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 5.30 pm (york.gov.uk) – item 30

Agenda for Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 8 March 2022, 5.30 pm (york.gov.uk) – item 5




Annex 1: Draft Climate Change Strategy