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Plymouth City Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on March 18, 2019.

Whole area pledge for 2030

“Tackling climate change is one of the Council’s top priorities and so in March 2019 we declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to make Plymouth carbon neutral by 2030.”

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

Plymouth City Council was a top performer amongst single tier councils, in the Education, skills and training section.

SectionPlymouth City CouncilAverage single tier council
Total score66%50%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
15/21
10.3/21
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
8/18
9.0/18
Section 3 Commitment and integration
6/7
4.1/7
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
6/9
5.1/9
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
4/5
2.9/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
2/4
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

803.2 ktCO2

Total 2020 emissions

3.1 tCO2

per person

9.5 ktCO2

per km2

35%

Domestic

34%

Transport

16%

Industry

9%

Commercial

6%

Public Sector

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 Plymouth 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
Bristol City Council83%Yes2025Nov. 13, 2018
Cardiff Council83%Yes2030March 28, 2019
Gloucester City Council80%Yes2030July 11, 2019
Torbay Council79%Yes2030June 19, 2019
Gosport Borough Council79%Yes2050No
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council78%NoNo targetJuly 6, 2020
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Borough Council78%Yes2030July 16, 2019
Coventry City Council78%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Worcester City Council76%No2030July 16, 2019
Southampton City Council76%Yes2030Sept. 18, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Plymouth 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
West Midlands Combined Authority90%No2041June 28, 2019
Royal Borough of Greenwich89%Yes2030June 26, 2019
Leicester City Council89%Yes2030Feb. 1, 2019
Coventry City Council89%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Gosport Borough Council88%Yes2050No
Harlow Council87%Yes2030July 11, 2019
Portsmouth City Council87%No2030March 19, 2019
London Borough of Ealing87%Yes2030April 2, 2019
Sheffield City Council87%Yes2050Feb. 6, 2019
London Borough of Hounslow87%Yes2030No
Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
West Devon Borough Council96%Yes2030May 21, 2019
South Hams District Council96%Yes2030July 25, 2019
Torridge District Council93%Yes2030July 1, 2019
Teignbridge District Council93%Yes2025April 18, 2019
Torbay Council92%Yes2030June 19, 2019
Exeter City Council90%Yes2030July 23, 2019
Cornwall Council (Unitary)90%Yes2030Jan. 22, 2019
North Devon Council90%Yes2030July 24, 2019
Mid Devon District Council89%Yes2030June 26, 2019
East Devon District Council86%Yes2040July 24, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Plymouth 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
Ipswich Borough Council94%Yes2030July 9, 2019
City of Lincoln Council93%No2030July 23, 2019
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council92%NoNo targetJuly 6, 2020
Bristol City Council90%Yes2025Nov. 13, 2018
London Borough of Enfield88%No2030July 8, 2019
Coventry City Council85%NoNo targetJune 18, 2019
Chesterfield Borough Council84%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council84%Yes2038July 10, 2019
Norwich City Council83%Yes2030Jan. 29, 2019
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council83%Yes2030April 3, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Plymouth 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
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council100%NoNo targetJuly 6, 2020
Derby City Council100%No2050May 23, 2019
Worthing Borough Council100%YesJuly 18, 2019
Gosport Borough Council99%Yes2050No
Stevenage Borough Council99%No2030June 12, 2019
Ipswich Borough Council99%Yes2030July 9, 2019
Gloucester City Council99%Yes2030July 11, 2019
West Midlands Combined Authority99%No2041June 28, 2019
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames99%Yes2030July 9, 2019
Oxford City Council99%Yes2030Jan. 28, 2019

Features

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

Powers & Responsibilities

Plymouth 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

    plymouth.gov.uk
    Plymouth City Council’s official homepage.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check Plymouth 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 Plymouth 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: Plymouth City Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/plymouth-city-council/ [Accessed 26 Sep 2022].

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