Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face globally and locally. The Council has a long track record of taking action on climate change both to reduce Reading’s emissions of the greenhouse gases which are causing climate change, and to prepare for the impacts. As our understanding of the potential impacts has improved, the urgency of the need to act has become apparent. As a result, the Council declared a ‘climate emergency’ in February 2019.
The Council is taking action on climate change in three main areas:
- Borough-wide action on climate change – the Council’s direct emissions represent only a small part of Reading’s emissions overall (less than 3%). It is therefore vital that we work in partnership with communities, organisations, businesses and individuals across Reading to promote the need for action and co-ordinate our efforts. We do this through the Reading Climate Change Partnership, of which the Council is a founding member. Following the declaration of a climate emergency, the Partnership developed a new Reading Climate Emergency Strategy 2020-25, setting out the pathway to achieving the goal of ‘a net zero carbon, resilient Reading’ by 2030. The Partnership’s website sets our plans in detail and includes advice on what you can do to help tackle climate change. The Partnership’s website.
- Corporate action on climate change – it is important for the Council to lead by example in reducing emissions as we encourage everyone in Reading to do the same. We have already reduced our own emissions by 63% since 2008/09, and have plans to reduce this still further – by 85% by 2025 and to ‘net zero’ by 2030. Our corporate Carbon Plan 2020-25 sets out our plans for the next five years to achieve this.
- Developing Reading’s ‘low carbon economy’ – there are very significant economic opportunities for Reading in developing environmentally-friendly technologies, renewable energy and other ‘green’ industries. We work with and through our partners in Reading’s economic development partnership, Reading UK, to pursue these opportunities. Like many other areas, Reading’s economy has been bit hard by Covid-19, but we have worked with partners to produce an economic recovery plan, Powered by People, which puts the idea of a ‘green recovery’ at the heart of Reading’s future success.
Reading’s Climate Emergency Declaration