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Bristol can’t wait decades for action on climate change

Following the hottest day so far this year, Bristol Green Councillors are calling for Bristol to take a leading role in tackling climate change with clear action needed now if the city is to meet its target of being carbon neutral by 2050. The latest spate of extreme weather has affected not just the UK, but all 4 continents currently experiencing summer, with record-breaking heatwaves sweeping countries as far apart as Japan, Sweden, Canada, South Korea and Algeria.

Bristol has a resilience strategy and is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, but Green councillors are calling for shorter term targets to be made clearer and for Bristol’s carbon neutral vision to feed into all decision-making within Bristol City Council.

Councillor Charlie Bolton  said:

“Climate change predicts more extreme weather events, and this is exactly what we are seeing. Our city is demonstrating a lack of resilience to this period of hot weather – be it people being unable to sleep, our waste collections struggling to cope or the grass in our parks dying.”

“A long-term vision is all very well, but we also need concrete action now to help our city both adapt to and help address climate change. The Mayor has set up a City Office which is tasked with delivering on our resilience strategy. It’s over two years since the election and we all know what needs to be done – so let’s stop talking about it and get on and do it.”

“Just saying we are a cycling city does not make it true. We need the networks and the training to go with it. But we also need to be a walking city, and a bus and train city. Our hugely ambitious house building programme must make sure that all new homes contribute to making Bristol a more carbon-neutral city and the city needs to be putting in place energy efficiency retro-fitting schemes as soon as possible. We need much, much more renewable energy generation that provides clean, green energy for everyone. And we don’t need these things in the coming decades – we need them now.”

“But what we need most of all is the political will to prioritise climate change action, even if this means upsetting the car lobby to get a charging zone in our city centre, or being brave enough to oppose expansion of Bristol airport, or not shying away from effective action to reduce our city’s waste. We need climate change to be part of the conversation in every decision made by our council if we are to make real progress towards becoming the clean, green, carbon neutral city we know that Bristol can be.”

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