Portsmouth City Council halves carbon produced by its buildings as families are called to do more

FAMILIES and businesses have today been told they must play a bigger part in fighting climate change and help Portsmouth become a greener place to live.

By Tom Cotterill
Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:12 pm
Portsmouth Extinction Rebellion Pictured: Selma Heimedinger outside Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The rallying cry comes as Portsmouth City Council announced it has managed to slash its own carbon production by a half over the last decade.

The impressive achievement comes through a combination of energy saving measures taken across the authority’s properties and the electricity grid switching to increasingly green energy sources.

Combined it means the total amount of carbon emitted from its operation buildings was cut from 24,826 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2010/11 to 12,474 tonnes in 2020/21.

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Solar and battery installation at Portsmouth International Port.

And the council has stressed it will continue drive down the figures, with ongoing and future projects like large-scale solar installations at Portsmouth International Port and Lakeside being key to this vision.

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Councillor Kimberley Barrett, cabinet member for climate change and the green recovery, said it was critical residents and city businesses played their part to drive down emissions.

The Lib Dem politician said: ‘We are aiming for the entire city to be carbon neutral by 2030, we can only do that if everyone plays their part.

‘People don't realise everyday choices they make can actually make a difference to the environment and climate change. Everything any of us does helps make a difference so it's really important that everyone does what they can.

‘The council has halved the amount of carbon its buildings emit through energy use over the last 10 years and the choices made to have things like solar panels and LED lighting have played an important part in that. People can make similar differences in their own homes, many residents don't realise solar panels are an option for them or the amount of energy they can save with some fairly simple steps.

‘Switched On Portsmouth can help people learn about what they can do and save them money free of charge.’

The news comes as residents were urged to join the city’s Big Climate Conversation.

The event is taking place at the city’s Guildhall on November 9 and 10 from 9am to 4pm.

People are called to join the discussion on how the city council is tackling climate change.

The event will showcase the work the authority is doing, and each day will feature six speakers, with exhibitors and opportunities for networking throughout the day.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the council, said: ‘We take our role in addressing the challenge of climate change head on. Much of the city is at sea level and the potential impact of climate change would be felt in Portsmouth before much of the UK.

‘That’s why the council declared a climate emergency in March 2019, and it’s why we are continuing to invest in schemes and projects, large and small, that can make a difference to our city and our planet.

‘I encourage everyone to try and get involved in this important conversation.’

To apply for a space at the event, see portsmouth.gov.uk/cop26

For further details on how Switched On Portsmouth can help in reducing energy use, call 0800 260 5907 or visit switchedonportsmouth.co.uk

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