Norwich City Council responds to IPCC report on climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report on 8 October stating that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5ºC.

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South responded to the news on Twitter, stating that ‘The physics of climate change dictate we must halve our carbon output every decade for next 30 years. This isn’t negotiable. That’s the new policy bar. A high one but not as high as the price we’ll all pay for failing to implement.’

According to the Norwich City Council, Norwich’s carbon footprint has shrunk by almost half in the past decade.

Norwich’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint follow on from 2008 when a joint initiative between the city council and the Norfolk County Council was introduced with the intention to reduce CO2 emissions created in the city area.

Labour-led Norwich City Council will be continuing to invest time, resources and energy in sustainable projects to reduce the city’s carbon footprint further still – and to encourage other companies to do the same,’ said Lewis.

Currently the city council are investing in the development of Passivhaus housing on Goldsmith Street and the Rayne Park development in Bowthorpe.

Passivhaus requires properties to be built to the highest certifiable standard of energy efficiency, creating low energy buildings that need very little fuel for heating or cooling.

In the city council’s carbon footprint report for 2017/18, the target for reduction in overall CO2 emissions is 40 percent from a 2007/8 baseline. This target exceeds the national target of a 34 percent reduction in carbon footprint by 2020.

Within the next year the council have shared plans to implement projects to promote the use of LED lighting in homes and businesses, investigate the possibility of further solar panel systems on council assets and pursue further insulation work at Sheltered Housing schemes.

‘Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5ºC or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,’ said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

The IPCC report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require ‘rapid and far-reaching’ transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of CO2 would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030.

A number of climate change impacts could be voided through limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC or above. The IPCC exemplified this by projecting that sea levels would be ten centimetres lower with warming of 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC. Additionally, coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5ºC, whereas virtually all would be lost with 2ºC.


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Annabel Gibson

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November 2021
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