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What BGCP members had to say…Feedback from Consultation on Framework for Climate & Energy Security


At the Energy themed Quarterly Partnership Gathering in February 2016, we invited BGCP Members and local organisation to have their say on the recently drafted Framework for Climate and Energy Security behind the city’s bid to become carbon neutral by 2050.

We invited Mark Leach, Project Manager and Sustainability Advisor at Bristol City Council , to feed back on what attendees had to say during the consultation exercise, and what happens next….

“Firstly, a big thank you to so many of you who contributed and discussed the framework and the future plans we’re going to need to meet our ever more ambitious shared targets. There’s broad agreement on the targets, and the devil is in the detail of how, precisely, we meet them.

In this blog I have extracted some of the highlights and most frequent comments from table discussions as they were recorded at the Gathering on 23rd March – the event generated 20+ pages of notes, so please forgive us if your comment or idea is missing from this summary!

8 things already happening that we should include in the framework

  • Smart City Energy Collaboration
  • More about business contribution, including more assertiveness from the document and inclusion of leading business action. For example, Set Squared or possibly even case studies on e.g. Oxford Instruments.
  • Better and more explicit cross-referencing to the forthcoming 100 Resilient Cities work and the Resilience Strategy
  • A range of specific projects – from Owen Square to CHEESE to Bristol Energy Cooperative and many more
  • Education (Shaun the Sheep and the continuing 2015 work with schools, UWE’s Our Green City MOOC etc)
  • Changes already made to Bristol City Council’s Street lighting to save energy
  • Carbon impacts of massive reduction of landfilling Bristol’s domestic waste
  • Bristol is better at measuring than other cities and “what gets measured gets managed”

5 Actions for future, planned activity that should be included in the framework:

  • Pedestrian-cycling shared space study currently being carried
  • Energy balancing, storage and peak load management
  • Housing innovation currently being explored around building and ownership, e.g. Ecomotive, Schumacher etc
  • Smart meter rollout
  • Cross-boundary work across the 4 West of England Unitary Authorities to save greater carbon together than can be done individually

9 new, additional ideas we should explore that aren’t in the Framework:

  • New financial investment models
  • A holistic cross-sector owned volunteer strategy with research to find out how this can impact on emissions
  • Divestment of financial investments from oil and other high carbon investments
  • A Bristol Standard for procurement (lower carbon, supporting others to achieve more)
  • Be bolder! Be more ambitious (not in targets, but in the scope of action included). Particularly for example with regard to PV on the city’s rooftops
  • Learn from and copy the best action from the top cities globally for climate change action
  • Work with private rented sector
  • Continuous programme of social innovation – an aspiration to learn from, share and replicate examples (e.g. a homeless hostel is working with agencies to maintain a section of cycle path)
  • Include more action from other “Anchor Institutions” such as the Universities and Hospital Trusts.

Other, more general comments about the Framework:

  • Re-write in simpler, plain English
  • Define Carbon Neutral, particularly in the context of the Paris COP21 agreement

So what happens next…..?

As a result of some of the suggestions put forward, discussions will be followed up in depth with Sarah Toy (100 Resilient Cities and Bristol City Council), University of the West of England, University of Bristol, and the Hospital Trusts. Other will require a number of conversations to achieve buy in from partners, and one or two will face particular challenges that may not be resolvable within the timescale for the next version of the plan but will be fully explored. Given the nature of the document, it’s unlikely specific businesses or case studies will be named within actions. And finally we are committed to the new draft being accessible and in much plainer English, and we have already started exploring this.

Bristol City Council’s timetable is to get the newly drafted document up for approval by the newly elected mayor by the end of the summer, and any further responses on the document will be on hold until this point.

The consultation is now closed, and in addition to the feedback from Partnership members, we are also working through the online survey responses and outputs from other events, with many one-to-one meetings forthcoming.”

Did you miss the gathering? Read a report and watch all the presentations and panel discussions from the gathering here.

Download Mark Leach’s presentation on the Bristol City Council’s Framework.

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