Reading marks two years of action since declaring a climate emergency

On 26th February 2019 Reading Borough Council declared a climate emergency on behalf of the wider community, pledging to join the international effort to slow down climate change.

In response to the declaration the Reading Climate Change Partnership (RCCP) - in which the Council is an active partner - set out a roadmap to work towards the goal of achieving a ‘net zero carbon’ Reading by 2030.

The previous Reading Climate Change Strategy for 2013-20 set a target of reducing the town’s emissions by 34% by 2020. Thanks to the efforts of everyone in Reading, this target was exceeded – in the latest year for which data is available, Reading’s emissions had in fact reduced by 47%, showing what can be achieved through concerted partnership action on climate change.

Local achievements since the climate emergency was declared include:

  • Construction of more energy efficient housing to comply with the ‘zero carbon housing’ policy in the Council’s Local Plan, adopted in November 2019
  • Further development of a strong public transport network and bu priority measures in particular which saw Reading continue to buck the national (pre-pandemic) trends for bus use
  • Community-led action to promote ‘plastic-free’ initiatives such as efill Reading, with Caversham working towards Plastic Free Community accreditation
  • Continued increases in the rate of recycling in Reading and the recent introduction of food waste collections
  • Development of ‘nature-based climate solutions’ such as the Trees for Reading initiative and ‘re-wilding’ trials in greenspaces across the town
  • Early adoption of ‘smart city’ technology to help ensure that future change supports the net zero objective

Adoption of the ambitious target of a net zero Reading by 2030 represents a step change in ambition for the town. To mark the two-year anniversary of declaring a climate emergency, RCCP are asking residents, businesses and local organisations to re-double their efforts to tackle climate change, taking advantage of the information and resources on the Partnership’s new website to help them do so.

Find out how you can play an active part and get involved at Reading CAN.