On 18 March 2019, City of Plymouth councillors voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency. We committed to meeting the most significant challenge facing our city and our planet. The enormity of what we must achieve cannot be understated and it will not be an easy journey but the reason we cannot fail is clear: we must leave a positive legacy for our children and our grandchildren. The City Council cannot solve climate change alone, we must all play our part. As others have shown, small actions to drive change can have global consequences.
This Climate Emergency Action Plan is the developing journey of the council and the city to be carbon neutral. This document is not just words on a page. This document seeks to drive change, inspire action and change mind-sets. It has already helped best practice to be shared within Plymouth and put pressure on the Government through lobbying for increased action to stabilise our climate.
This document sets out how we intend to respond to the city-wide climate emergency. It explains why we need the Climate Emergency Action Plan and why the 2030 target is so imperative to tackling climate change. The Action Plan assesses Plymouth’s current carbon emissions and outlines the challenges associated with this ambitious 2030 target. It sets this against the timescale of current national policy, recognising that not all the solutions to tackling climate change currently exist. For the purpose of the declaration of a climate emergency, and this Climate Emergency Action Plan, we are defining carbon neutrality as the point when we achieve a net zero carbon budget by getting as close to zero greenhouse gas emissions as possible by 2030, and then offsetting any residual emissions via other credible initiatives.