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One City Climate Strategy launched, calling on Bristol to come together like never before


Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy was launched by the One City Environmental Sustainability Board on 26 February, which describes a pathway for Bristol to become carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030 – a highly ambitious goal 20 years ahead of the UK Government.

Bristol Green Capital Partnership welcomes the strategy, which outlines the radical and urgent changes that are needed across the city – by its institutions, organisations, businesses and people – for Bristol to become carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030, as committed in the One City Plan. This ambition builds upon decades of strong environmental action in the city, and Bristol should be proud to be leading the way in responding to the climate challenges we face.

The strategy is built upon thorough evidence of current carbon emissions and what is needed to reduce them. It addresses emissions from energy, waste and transport in Bristol, and also looks at the wider carbon footprints from the things people and businesses buy from around the world. Along with strong action from the local authority, every organisation and resident in the city can contribute through changes in their daily activities. The Environmental Sustainability Board now calls upon people and organisations across the city to come together to work towards the goals of the strategy.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and co-chair of the Environmental Sustainability Board, said:

Bristol is an incredibly environmentally-conscious city which is reflected in the way we are leading the response to one of the most complex challenges humanity has ever faced. We are proud of the fact Bristol has inspired others to recognise the importance of the climate emergency. We need our city to come together like never before and it’s encouraging that people from organisations across the city have made this unique approach a reality.

The strategy sets out the actions needed to phase out the use of fossil fuels and improve the resilience of the city in 10 key areas, including travel, homes, food, shopping and waste activities, plus how businesses and public services will need to change their operations and supply chains. Across all these key areas there will need to be the skills, funding, leadership, data, infrastructure and engagement to enable the action to happen.

The Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change (BACCC) released a statement welcoming the development of the One City Climate Strategy, saying:

 “The Committee understands that decarbonisation will not be easy and that this report has been developed rapidly and with limited resources, and therefore welcomes the recognition that the strategy should continually improve and adapt in the future as new evidence becomes available.

However, while there is always a need for more research, particularly in areas such as how we adapt to unavoidable climate change, this report provides a strong evidence base for action. 

The focus should now shift to developing the urgent next steps that are needed in areas like transport and heating and the BACCC looks forward to working with local and national government, and city partners, to help the city achieve its climate change ambitions.”

The next step is to align the plans and actions of organisations across the city to help achieve these objectives and critically, make a clear ask of national government to make the necessary changes in laws, policies and finances. A new website is also in development to help Bristol citizens, organisations and businesses to take effective action on climate change.

Mohammed Saddiq, Chair of Bristol Green Capital Partnership, said:

This is a hugely important moment for Bristol. The strategy provides a new level of understanding about the challenges ahead of us in achieving the Partnership’s collective goal ‘to make Bristol a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all’. We are pleased to see that many objectives laid out in Our Vision are reflected in the strategy and urge Partnership members to continue to play an active role in supporting the shared vision and in the delivery of the strategy.

Bristol Green Capital Partnership will be setting up a Carbon Neutral network to support all members who have ambitions to become carbon neutral in their own operations by 2030. More information about this new initiative will be coming soon.

Lizzi Testani, Chief Operating Officer, says:

“It will take serious collaboration and partnership working to achieve this vision and we have a responsibility to ensure that Bristol’s transition is inclusive as well as speedy. Bristol’s culture of collaborative working puts us in a fantastic position to achieve this together.”

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