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Bristol City Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on Nov. 13, 2018.

Council only pledge for 2025

“We will continue to reduce emissions from the Council’s own operations and commit to being carbon neutral for direct emissions (energy and transport) by 2025 (scope 1 and 2). We will also quantify our indirect emissions (scope 3), for example by organisations providing services and goods and by tenants who occupy our residential and commercial properties. (SDG13) - page 12”

Whole area pledge for 2030

“Pledge to make the city of Bristol carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.”

Climate documents

Last update: March 16, 2022

Climate Plan Scorecard

This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

Bristol City Council was a top performer amongst single tier councils, in two sections including Measuring and setting emissions targets.

SectionBristol City CouncilAverage single tier council
Total score64%50%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
15/21
10.3/21
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
14/18
9.0/18
Section 3 Commitment and integration
1/7
4.1/7
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
5/9
5.1/9
Section 5 · Top performer Measuring and setting emissions targets
5/5
2.9/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
4/4
2.2/4
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
1/5
0.9/5
Section 8 · Top performer Education, skills and training
5/5
2.3/5
Section 9 Ecological emergency
3/4
2.1/4

Emissions data

1295.3 ktCO2

Total 2020 emissions

2.8 tCO2

per person

5.5 ktCO2

per km2

39%

Domestic

30%

Transport

13%

Commercial

10%

Public Sector

8%

Industry

0%

Agriculture

Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities.

These councils are the most similar to Bristol City Council in terms of emissions profile, deprivation, rural/urban population density, and geographical nearness. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Coventry City Council88%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Southampton City Council87%Yes2030Sept. 18, 2019
Worcester City Council84%No2030July 16, 2019
Plymouth City Council83%Yes2030March 18, 2019
Gloucester City Council82%Yes2030July 11, 2019
Gosport Borough Council81%Yes2050No
Cardiff Council81%Yes2030March 28, 2019
Reading Borough Council81%Yes2030Feb. 26, 2019
Portsmouth City Council80%No2030March 19, 2019
Leicester City Council80%Yes2030Feb. 1, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Bristol City Council in terms of their emissions profile, based on the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
London Borough of Brent94%No2030July 8, 2019
Norwich City Council93%Yes2030Jan. 29, 2019
London Borough of Wandsworth92%Yes2050July 17, 2019
Greater London Authority92%YesDec. 1, 2019
Coventry City Council91%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Southampton City Council91%Yes2030Sept. 18, 2019
Manchester City Council89%Yes2038July 10, 2019
Portsmouth City Council89%No2030March 19, 2019
Worcester City Council89%No2030July 16, 2019
Salford City Council89%No2038July 17, 2019
Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
North Somerset Council99%Yes2030Feb. 19, 2019
Newport City Council96%Yes2030Nov. 23, 2021
Bath and North East Somerset Council95%Yes2030March 14, 2019
South Gloucestershire Council95%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Monmouthshire County Council94%Yes2030May 16, 2019
Sedgemoor District Council94%Yes2030March 20, 2019
Somerset County Council94%No2030Feb. 20, 2019
Mendip District Council94%Yes2030Feb. 25, 2019
Torfaen County Borough Council94%YesNo targetJune 25, 2019
Devon County Council93%No2030Feb. 21, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Bristol City Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in high deprivation, medium deprivation, and low deprivation neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
London Borough of Enfield92%No2030July 8, 2019
Plymouth City Council91%Yes2030March 18, 2019
Ipswich Borough Council89%Yes2030July 9, 2019
Coventry City Council89%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council87%NoNo targetJuly 6, 2020
City of Lincoln Council86%No2030July 23, 2019
Southampton City Council84%Yes2030Sept. 18, 2019
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council84%No2030July 18, 2019
Gosport Borough Council82%Yes2050No
London Borough of Croydon81%YesNo targetJuly 15, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Bristol City Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in urban, rural, and highly rural neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Birmingham City Council100%No2030June 11, 2019
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council99%No2030July 18, 2019
London Borough of Bexley99%NoNo targetNo
London Borough of Enfield99%No2030July 8, 2019
Reading Borough Council98%Yes2030Feb. 26, 2019
Liverpool City Council98%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Nottingham City Council98%Yes2028Jan. 21, 2019
Blackpool Borough Council98%Yes2030June 26, 2019
London Borough of Croydon98%YesNo targetJuly 15, 2019
Slough Borough Council98%YesNo targetNo

Features

This council’s climate plan has been tagged with the following features:

Powers & Responsibilities

Bristol City Council is a Unitary Authority, with powers over:

Council buildings and staff

Climate actions might include:

  • making council offices more energy efficient
  • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
  • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Environmental health

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing industrial emissions through air quality enforcement
    • bringing up insulation and energy efficiency standards through enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard 2000, for cold and damp conditions in private rental and social housing

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Passenger transport

    Climate actions might include:

    • encouraging bus and private hire operators to use low-emission vehicles, through licensing requirements or Clean Air Zones
    • incentivising bus use by improving routes, timetables, and ticket prices through ‘Enhanced Partnerships’ with operators
    • proposing to central government the development of light rail / tram networks that integrate, rather than compete, with other modes of transport in the area

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Planning and building control

    Climate actions might include:

    • imposing reasonable requirements that new developments comply with energy efficiency standards and get a proportion of their energy from local, renewable sources (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • incorporating additional energy performance standards into their Local Plan, for new works that require planning permission
    • using Area Action Plans to guide development proposals towards lower carbon emissions or more cycling and walking routes, for example
    • enforcing legislation that requires private rental properties to be of Energy Efficiency Rating E or above (Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2015)
    • funding energy efficiency improvements on existing homes, through initiatives such as Green Homes Grants

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Schools and libraries

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing the carbon footprint of civic buildings through better insulation and renewable energy use
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    • encouraging eco-clubs at schools
    • using school land to plant trees and hedgerows, or to grow food

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Housing

    Climate actions might include:

    • setting energy standards above building regulations (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • enabling housing associations to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through loans
    • where councils operate their own social housing, prioritising energy efficiency – for example, by requiring Passivhaus standard for newly built schemes

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Transport planning

    Climate actions might include:

    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ like walking and cycling by creating or widening footways and cycleways
    • incentivising Electric Vehicle use by assigning street space to EV charging
    • disincentivising the use of fossil fuel cars through congestion charging,low-traffic neighbourhoods, or the reduction of parking space

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Waste collection and disposal

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about English local authority powers in the UK100 Power Shift report.

    More about this council

    bristol.gov.uk
    Bristol City Council’s official homepage.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check Bristol City Council’s ‘carbon budget’ – their share towards meeting the UK’s Paris agreement targets.
    Friends of the Earth ‘Near You’ tool
    Discover climate groups in this area, data about Bristol City Council’s climate performance, and actions you can take.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2022). Climate Action Plan Explorer: Bristol City Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/bristol-city-council/ [Accessed 26 Sep 2022].

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