On Monday 9th August, 2G3S member Katie Williams attended a workshop by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Committee on Climate, with a focus on ensuring a fair and just transition to a low-carbon future for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough area.
The group were given an overview of local emissions and how climate change impacts the local area, followed by a discussion on barriers to reducing emissions, and what solutions will be important for the future. Focus areas for solutions were Food & water, Housing, Employment, and Transport.
Key takeaways included:
- Emissions in South Cambridgeshire are 45% higher than the national average. 50% of these emissions are from transport.
- Cambridgeshire is at risk from high rates of river & surface water flooding, and extreme high temperatures due to climate change.
- Priorities for food & water should include: being stricter on new housing developments to reduce pressure on water supply, more education on plant based diets (how to do it in a way that is healthy and easy for everyone), and more support for sustainable farming practices.
- Priorities for housing: plans to ensure energy efficiency is prioritised in the rental sector & landlords are supported to retrofit their properties, community centres to educate & empower people to retrofit their homes, and prioritisation of sustainability in new housing developments, including ensuring social housing is built to greener standards and prioritising retrofitting old sites over building new.
- Priorities for transport: local transport services that serve the community better with powers similar to TfL, more support for vehicle sharing schemes instead of private ownership, and prioritising design for ‘5 minute cities’ – where everything you might need (shops, dentists, doctors) are within a 5 minute walk or cycle from your house.
- Priorities for employment: planning for skills & jobs of the future, ensuring access to broadband to allow more people to work from home and reduce commuting emissions, and finding ways to make green jobs more attractive, particularly in agriculture.
The outcomes from this and other focus groups will inform the next report by the CPICC on ensuring a just transition for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.