A new, ambitious plan to help Doncaster to get to net zero emissions over the coming two decades has been published.
The report comes during the week that The United Nations and Britain will co-host a landmark global event to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, ahead of the COP in 2021. The report also coincides with the Climate Change Committee (CCC) publishing its advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget.
The Doncaster Climate and Biodiversity Commission has reported that Doncaster is already experiencing the impact of climate change, which is likely to escalate dangerously over the coming years and decades unless fundamental action is taken.
The report commissioned by Team Doncaster has concluded that urgent action is required to tackle climate change over the next two decades.
Last year the council declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and, in Doncaster, effects of climate change have included flooding as a result of much greater rainfall in the region than usual and serious wildfires on Hatfield Moors peatlands.
It is estimated that in 2017 Doncaster produced 2059 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide from activity such as driving vehicles, heating homes and producing electricity.
The report highlighted many recommendations and details an ambitious plan for Doncaster which includes transitioning towards green transport, and improving energy efficiency in homes.
The report concludes there is a “window of opportunity” for Doncaster to help play a part in international climate change agreements, and that it should be ‘net-zero’ in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 – the same as the target for Sheffield City Region, and ten years ahead of the Government’s own 2050 target.
The comprehensive plan includes a charter for the council, businesses and individuals with actions to help deliver this ambitious target. It includes detailed suggestions for the council and businesses to help improve their carbon footprint, and for individuals to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives.
Better public transport, increasing active travel, using smart meters in our homes to be more efficient with energy, throwing away less and recycling more are all “quick wins” that are encouraged as cheap and easy to do solutions.
Chair of the Commission, Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:
“This is an ambitious vision to tackle climate change and make Doncaster more prosperous, with a better quality of life for residents, who’ve already felt the full effects of climate change right here on their doorstep.
“Retrofitting homes with more fuel-efficient heating systems will create jobs as well as lowering household bills. Planting trees and rewilding will help to tackle climate change, promote biodiversity and improve the quality of life in our communities.
"We all have a part to play - local government, businesses, and individuals - but crucially this must be backed up by support from national government which is urgently required both to make the green transition and protect our residents from the effects of climate change, through better flood defences.
"The task is a big one, but it is vital we meet it head on with radical action. We can succeed if we work together."
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones said:
“When I declared a climate emergency in September 2019, I was keen for Doncaster to take definitive action and not to delay in coming up with a plan of how we can slow down and reverse the effects of climate change.
“Doncaster has already experienced the effects of environmental changes, including recently the devastating impacts of flooding on our communities. There are many things we need to make sure happen in Doncaster to improve our climate, including reducing emissions and encouraging active and sustainable travel, improving our air quality, looking after and enhancing our green spaces and expanding our green industries, to name a few. There are also changes we can all make in our everyday lives. The small changes we can all make can make a huge difference.
“We must all play our part in order to combat climate change, this will be no easy task, but we must in order to protect our borough and the planet from the devastating consequences of climate change
“The Commission’s report is clear that we have lots to do to reach our ambitious targets. I am determined we can all work together to achieve the recommendations to enhance Doncaster’s natural environment and have a positive impact on our people, place and our economy, as a clean and sustainable borough that is responsive to current and future demands."
The Final Report of Doncaster’s Climate and Biodiversity Commission is available at www.teamdoncaster.org.uk/the-commission
Watch the report launch video featuring Ed Miliband MP and Mayor Ros Jones.
‘Team Doncaster’ is the name of Doncaster’s Local Strategic Partnership. It brings together organisations and individuals from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to take shared ownership and responsibility for Doncaster's vision, leadership and direction. You can read more about Team Doncaster here.
- Category: Environment