York Emissions Reporting & Carbon Neutral Ambition
The committee are presented with a report detailing the work undertaken to report on the carbon emissions of City of York Council to date.
Officers introduced the report and discussed the challenges of York reaching net zero carbon by 2030 including government policy, available technology, and cost to the Council. The Committee discussed the amended objectives and the opportunity to link up with objectives from other organisations in the region. While the significant challenge of achieving net zero carbon for York by 2030 was noted, a pathway taking us beyond this date could still keep emissions across the city at a level that contributes to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5C. Members supported the amendments based on the data provided, but stressed the importance of aiming to meet these objectives quickly and being a leader in decarbonisation and to encourage other organisations to also aim to meet the same targets as the Council.
The Committee supported the objective for the Council to become net zero carbon by 2030, noting that it would allow the Council to provide a leading role in the city. However, it was confirmed that there would be challenges to achieving this goal and officers confirmed that this would likely not include services that were not wholly delivered by the Council. Other examples that would likely not be included were housing provided by housing associations or Waste collection services provided by organisations such as YorWaste. The Committee noted that they would welcome the opportunity to review the objective for the Council to become net zero carbon by 2030, once more detail was confirmed.
Members discussed the importance of a roadmap to plan out the Councils objectives, as well as, the potential benefits to create clear plans for projects which can attach external and government funding. Members enquired as to whether the Council could include a Local Energy Area Energy Plan, it was confirmed this could be a benefit to produce a plan and would allow the Council to work with third parties to develop energy production solutions within the Council’s territory. The Committee also considered wider challenges in planning and working with developers and suggested that the Council consider special planning documents to improve higher energy standards in the city.
The estimated cost of York reaching net carbon zero being between £1.1 and £2.3 billion was discussed. It was noted that the city would require external funding to be able to deliver this including Government funding programmes. It was confirmed that while it would cost a lot to deliver net carbon natural, the costs to achieve this would create a cost benefit to many of the projects delivered. With this in mind the Committee recommended the Council identify quick wins and areas to achieve a net zero carbon York which would be the most challenging.
i. Noted the evidence for setting a decarbonisation pathway for York and support the ambition for making the city carbon neutral ahead of the Climate Change Policy which will be produced in Spring 2021.
ii. The Committee recommended that the Executive make a commitment to achieving a net zero carbon council by 2030.
iii. That the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change use best endeavours to ensure planning is sufficiently resourced to deliver the special planning documents required to ensure higher energy standards in York.
Resolved: To ensure the Committee remain updated on the progress towards the creation of the Council’s Climate Change Policy and to promote the objective of making York net carbon neutral.