As the UK gets ready to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), we wanted to explain what it's all about and why it's so important.
So, what exactly is COP26? COP26 is a conference that brings leaders from around the world together to tackle climate change. Heads of state, climate experts and campaigners will discuss and agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. The UK is aiming to secure a global plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as from cars and factories, to zero by 2050.
The conference this year is particularly important because Governments are not on track to hit greenhouse gas reduction targets, meaning global temperatures will rise above safe levels.
We will be setting out our commitments to help the borough save money as it takes one more step to a greener planet. Throughout the COP26 period (31 October to 12 November), we will be highlighting a wide range of advice and help for residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. This will include funding to make homes more energy efficient, information on how everyone including residents can make use of the council's electric carpool, and a season of eye-opening films with the return of the UK Green Film festival at The Cinema at Campus West.
What are we doing?
Since we declared a climate change emergency in June 2019 and set an ambitious target to be net zero by 2030, we are taking many steps including:
- Measuring carbon emissions from our corporate organisation using established international standard on greenhouse gas reporting. The greenhouse gas emissions for 2020/2021 was 2,00 tonnes CO2, a reduction of 507 tonnes from 2019/20.
- We have assessed our community emissions and the latest figures are for the year 2018 - CO2 emissions were 587,000 tonnes and the previous year it was 617,000 tonnes.
- Invested in 100% green electricity from our electricity supplier.
- Converting the heating system at our Council offices, Campus West and Hatfield Swim Centre from gas central heating to air source electric heating system.
- Installed 8 EV charging points, low energy LED lighting and lighting control in the Hatfield multi-storey to reduce consumption.
- Working with partners to promote government grants for home insulation and green technologies that are available for residents in the borough.
- Working in partnership with Affinity Water to help residents reduce waste waste and save money.
- Offer local businesses training to help them become more sustainable and save money.
How can you become #OneStepGreener?
You can live life with the future of the planet in mind, and inspire others to do the same. There are many things we can all do every day to help tackle climate change. Remember, small changes can make a big difference!
- Download the Energy Saving Trust App and find out how a few small steps can save you a lot of money.
- Complete WWF's Carbon footprint questionnaire to find out how big your environmental footprint is.
- Try to avoid unnecessary car travel, especially at peak times. Toxic fumes from cars can cause high level of emissions which is not only bad for the environment but bad for your health. Replace short car journeys with walking, cycling or public transport.
- Reduce your food waste - Love Food Hate Waste have many leftover recipes you can tuck into for inspiration.
- Turning things off at night, replacing electric lights with solar, cooking in batches, washing at lower temperatures, switching to eco-energy suppliers can all help reduce your energy waste.
Green Film Festival
From the 7 - 11 November, Campus West will be taking part in the UK's Green Film Festival screening five eye-opening documentaries which explore some of the biggest environmental issues.