Vision For Plymouth
Theme 2: A Green City
A Green City
To be one of Europe's greenest cities. Plymouth will be a place where:
- Our ambition to be a net-zero city by 2030 is met by:
- Conserving energy in our homes, businesses and modes of travel.
- Increasing the proportion of energy from local renewable, decentralised and low carbon sources.
- Supporting co-operative action on energy.
- A thriving clean, green economy is achieved, with a skilled and growing workforce business base and workforce supporting land and marine located renewable energy generation and use, and reducing carbon emissions by businesses, homes and transport.
- A high quality and functional network of collectively cared for natural spaces provides for the needs of people, wildlife and businesses, now and in the future.
- An ambitious housing and social policy is delivered which ensures affordable warmth, addresses fuel poverty, provides healthier homes, and supports local people in accessing cheaper and green energy.
- A transport system is provided that responds to emerging technological changes for electric and low carbon forms of transport, and delivers a step-change in walking, cycling, and public transport as the travel modes of choice for those living in and visiting the city.
- Ambitious recycling rates are achieved and Plymouth is a virtually nil-to-landfill city.
- People and communities are aware of, value and contribute to the sustainability of the environment around them and are encouraged and empowered to meet the challenges posed by climate change and make their own contribution through energy, travel and recycling choices to the achievement of the city's 2030 net-zero target.
- Bathing waters are healthy to bathe in at all times, the area is resilient to flooding.
- Clean air is enjoyed and Plymouth has some of the cleanest air of any city in the country.
- Known for its food - exceptional quality, locally grown, low carbon, available to all; with Plymouth building on its reputation as a 'sustainable food city'.
Plymouth provides some of the best environments and opportunities for quality of life of any city in the United Kingdom. The city aspires to be amongst the greenest and most sustainable places in Europe.
Plymouth itself has been recognised as one of Forum for the Future's leading 'green' cities and has a strong reputation in promoting sustainable development. For example, in recent years Plymouth has almost doubled the area of land designated as Local Nature Reserves, supported 2,500 improvements in home energy efficiency, delivered a major programme to supply schools with low cost renewable energy, installed electric car charging points around the city, delivered new walking and cycling initiatives, delivered personalised travel planning to over 84,000 households, seen major new investment in water infrastructure by South West Water, and launched a programme of work to establish the UK's first National Marine Park within Plymouth Sound.
Plymouth has signed up to a number of initiatives to drive the zero carbon agenda forward, including the UK100 Net Zero Pledge and the Carbon Disclosure Project. These initiatives help us to measure and monitor progress towards our targets, as well as facilitating knowledge sharing with a wide range of public and private sector organisations. Additionally, by being a member of the Fab City Network, Plymouth is working to establish innovative urban change which is regenerative and restorative by design to meet social, economic and sustainable goals.
A net-zero target by 2030 is ambitious and will require a multi-faceted programme of carbon reducing measures and a step-change in green energy, energy efficiency and sustainable travel. This would be a significant move towards supporting the UK government's nationwide target for 2050 of an 80 per cent reduction on 2005 levels, as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. Other major outcomes that are within reach include delivering substantial progress towards overcoming fuel poverty in the city, and taking care and management of the city's precious natural environment to even higher levels and engaging all of the city's schools in an environmental learning network.