PROFILE: Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy

Cambridge drivers spend a whopping 23 days a year queuing in traffic

Cambridge has been named the congestion capital of the UK – weeks after the council announce ‘peak hour’ parking charges


Our Climate Change Strategy (2016-2021) [PDF, 7MB] sets out five key objectives for how we will address the causes and consequences of climate change:
  • Reducing emissions from our estate and operations
  • Reducing energy consumption and emissions by promoting energy efficiency measures, sustainable construction, renewable energy sources, and behaviour change
  • Reducing emissions from transport by promoting sustainable transport, reducing car travel and traffic congestion, and encouraging behaviour change
  • Reducing consumption of resources, increasing recycling and reducing waste
  • Supporting council services, residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change

Key actions

  • Reducing our emissions by 15% by 2021. 22 carbon-reduction projects in our carbon management plan and rationalising our office estate will help us achieve this. We aspire to reduce our emissions by 20% through further projects that are still being developed.
  • Supporting residents to access financial support for domestic energy efficiency improvements through the Action on Energy partnership
  • Constructing new council homes to high sustainability standards and using planning policy to secure high sustainability standards in new developments
  • Continuing to promote recycling and increase opportunities for residents and businesses to recycle.
  • Investing £100m in improvements to public transport and cycling infrastructure through the City Deal. The aim is to tackle congestion, reduce journey times, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality
  • Promoting low-emissions buses and taxis in partnership with the county council, bus companies and taxi companies.
  • Supporting residents and businesses to respond to the anticipated effects of climate change, including flooding, water shortages and heat waves.

Find out more about the steps we are taking in our new film.

Climate Change Strategy (2012-2016)

To find out more about the achievements of the previous Climate Change Strategy (2012-2016) read the annual progress reports below:

2017/18 progress report

Extract from progress report — Introduction:

Climate change adaptation and why is it important

1.1.1 The global climate is changing, with greenhouse gas emissions from human activity the dominant cause. The global increase in temperature of 0.85°C since 1880 is mirrored in the UK climate, with higher average temperatures and some evidence of more extreme weather events.

1 1.1.2 Climate change adaptation is a term that describes measures that can be put into place to help us adapt the changes in our climate that are now inevitable. These changes range from increased temperatures and drought conditions to extreme weather events such as intense periods of rainfall and subsequent flash flooding.

1.1.3 In addition to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change, local authorities have an important role to play in managing the risks and preparing and adapting to the impacts of severe weather and our changing climate. Climate change will impact council services, from the buildings that we manage through to open spaces and our role in emergency planning, as well as impacting on Cambridge residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

1.1.4 Action to manage the unavoidable impacts of climate change will deliver wide ranging benefits, from safeguarding Council finances and contributing to wider savings for partners, communities and businesses. Action to develop climate resilience can also deliver wider environmental benefits, including protecting and enhancing landscapes and biodiversity and providing open space, which can support the delivery of health and wellbeing objectives.

1.1.5. This plan has been developed as part of one of the actions identified in the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Action 5.10 calls for the development of an ‘Evidence base on climate change adaptation developed and further actions identified to manage climate change risks’. In the light of the recent 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), this plan will help us to have a better understanding of the climate risks facing the city and the adaptation actions that will have the greatest benefit across the city.


Bike Blog : Cambridge University Students Riding bicycle
             Riding a bicycle is a convenient means of transport for people in Cambridge.                                 Photograph: Brian Harris/Alamy# # #

About the editor:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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