Portsmouth City Council told it needs to evaluate its green decarbonisation efforts

PORTSMOUTH City Council's decarbonisation efforts would be more effective if it had systems in place to evaluate the impact of individual measures, a report has found.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 2:07 pm
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The carbon maturity assessment, produced by City Science, says the council has a 'solid foundation' in place to hit its 2050 net-zero goal but that better 'quantification' was needed to be able to correctly prioritise its efforts.

- Seven recommendations are made in the report:

- Better assessment of the impact of individual carbon-reducing measures,

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- increased engagement with the public,

- the consideration of indirect (Scope 3) emissions in its procurement processes,

- the inclusion of freight in its net-zero strategy,

- long-term financial analysis of the cost of projects,

- the adoption of international reporting standards,

and to review policies to increase powers to help reduce emissions.

'The key recommendation is that strategies and plans are supported by quantified pathways broken down by sector and emissions sources,' the report says. 'Improved quantification is expected to support management, prioritisation, co-ordination and monitoring of activities across sectors and departments while also supporting funding bids and business cases.'

The assessment was commissioned by the council to compare its performance against other local authorities and will be considered by its cabinet member for climate change, councillor Kimberly Barrett, next week.

'The City Science model is the first independent audit for local authorities to help classify where they sit on a spectrum of preparedness for the climate emergency - ‘carbon maturity’ - to quantify the actions they are taking and to help prioritise what they should be doing next,' a report by the council's corporate performance manager Kelly Nash says.

Its publication follows the agreement of a motion by councillors last week calling for a detailed carbon audit of all council operations to be carried out.

Councillor Charlotte Gerada, who seconded the motion and is the Labour group's climate change spokeswoman, said the recommendations of the assessment 'chime perfectly' with the 'gaps' in the council's approach to carbon reduction.

'Portsmouth City Council needs a comprehensive carbon audit as a baseline for carbon reduction, rigorous assessment of the impact of actions taken and to take a city-wide approach with reducing emissions,' she said.

'The council is institutional leader in our city and must play a role in advising residents, businesses and organisations about what they can do to collectively achieve net zero carbon emissions.'