Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world, including everyone here in Leicester. We are committed to tackling this issue, and we declared a climate emergency in February 2019. We are now working on a new action plan for the city and will soon be asking the public for their input.
What is the climate emergency?
Human activity produces greenhouses gases, particularly carbon dioxide. These gases cause climate change, raising the average temperature of the world. This is already causing extreme weather, sea level rise and damage to nature. If we don’t take urgent action these impacts will get much worse.
Declaring a climate emergency means we are prepared to play our part. Alongside other cities around the world, we are committed to taking the action needed to prevent climate change becoming much worse.
What are we doing about it?
We have been working to reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions for many years. Our achievements so far include:
- Replacing 33,500 street lights with low-energy LEDs, reducing their annual carbon emissions by over 8,000 tonnes compared to 2010/2011.
- Fitting external wall insulation to 141 council houses, and efficient new boilers to 3,870 council houses in the last three years, reducing their energy bills and carbon emissions.
- Establishing the largest municipal district heating network in the UK, supplying major buildings and 3,000 homes in Leicester.
- Cutting the carbon footprint of our buildings by over 15,000 tonnes since 2010/2011, improving their energy efficiency and using them more efficiently.
We’re also currently working on a range of projects including:
- Converting the Park and Ride service at Birstall to use electric buses, which will reduce carbon emissions.
- Installing more solar PV panels on our buildings, including Euston Street Museum Store, to generate clean electricity
- Investing £150,000 a year to replace way lighting at council housing properties with LEDs to reduce energy use.
- Transforming cycling and walking infrastructure in the city through the Connecting Leicester programme and setting up a bike hire scheme.
You can read more about our work so far on our sustainability action plan page.
Responding to the climate emergency will mean making big changes to the way we all live and work. We want to make sure that everyone in Leicester can have their say on how we respond and how it will affect them. We will be launching a consultation in November 2019 for you to have your say.
We are now developing a vision for how Leicester will need to change, alongside new actions and a target for the city to become ‘carbon neutral’. This will need action from us, the public and the UK government.
If you have a question about our work on the climate emergency, please use the contact methods below to get in touch or keep up-to-date.