The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
1.1 The purpose of this report is to update Members on the current activities carried out by the Belfast City Council Climate Unit. Further updates will be provided as specific areas of work progress.
2.1 The Committee is asked to note of the key areas of focus for the Belfast City Council Climate Unit.
3.0 Main report
Council - Key areas of focus and progress
1. A baseline emissions analysis of BCC and a preliminary net zero target and trajectory has been completed (detailed in separate paper).
2. An energy review of five buildings is underway (City Hall, Cecil Ward, Waterfront Hall, North Queen Street
3. Community Centre, Shankill Leisure Centre). This work will be completed by August 2022.
4. A climate risk assessment, climate action plan and climate investment plan for BCC will be carried out from May-Sep.
5. 14 phase 1 pilots supported by the Climate Fund have commenced this quarter: (1) Pilot insultation programme; (2) Solar PV investigation across the estate (3) Rollout of the Hysop project – hydraulic optimisation initiative; (4) EV charging at leisure centres; (5) Pilot recycling in the city centre; (6) study to assess carbon stocks on BCC owned peatland on Belfast Hills; (7) Survey of wildflower meadows / species rich grassland at 4 sites across the City; (8) Economic appraisal of larger tree nursery/commercial opportunities; (9) Installing additional electric charging points at Duncrue; (10) HVO trial in 10 vehicles; (11) Smart chargers study (12) Furniture recycling/up-cycling pilot; (13) Carpet recycling pilot; and (14) Scale up Repair and reuse laptop scheme.
6. A climate data platform is being scoped, EOIs have been sought and received from several companies and a business case will be developed for consideration by Digital Services.
7. A pilot programme is underway to measure supply chain emissions using the Trace Data Service Pilot Platform developed by Praesideo.
8. Ongoing coordination of climate initiatives through the Climate Programme Board and the Climate and Resilience Committee.
3.2 Council - Key areas of focus and progress
1. Ongoing delivery of One million Trees and UPSURGE projects and completion of the VPACH project.
2. Social Farms & Gardens, a UK wide charity supporting communities to farm, garden and grow together, have been contracted to review the existing Belfast Sustainable Food Place (SFP) accreditation, undertake engagement with key stakeholders and propose a framework and action plan which will allow for renewal of the Bronze Sustainable Food Place award and potential progression to Silver and Gold. This work will be completed by July 2022.
3. Collation of climate data for annual submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project and the GDS Index.
4. Ongoing engagement with LSE, PCAN, GFI and UKCCIC to position Belfast as a Net Zero finance demonstrator.
5. Initial work is underway to scope a local carbon offsetting fund (detailed in separate paper).
6. Climate considerations are being mainstreamed into key strategies and investments – Belfast Agenda, BCRD,
7. Belfast Stories, City Regeneration & BV, Economic Strategy, Investment Guide, 2 Royal Avenue, Active Travel etc.
8. Ongoing climate collaboration with other cities via RCN, Core Cities and ICCLEI. A Statement of Intent was signed by the Mayors Dublin, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region ahead of a decarbonisation summit in June 22 and discussion are ongoing with officers to identify specific areas for collaboration.
9. The potential to develop a Local Area Energy Plan is being discussed with the Energy Systems Catapult. This plan would enable the Council to engage businesses and citizens in measures to reduce emissions and energy costs across the City. The plan would provide a detailed spatial representation of the most cost-effective decarbonisation measures that could be deployed in different parts of the city (heat pumps, retrofit, district heating, EV charging points, solar PV, wind etc.) along with estimated costs. The outputs could then be used to develop a series of investments across the City to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and create jobs.
10. ToRs for a Climate Action Plan and Climate Investment Plan (Net Zero pipeline) are being developed.
11. Ongoing engagement with NIE, PWC and other Councils to develop a place-based delivery mechanism for the Energy Strategy and Green growth Strategy. The LSE Grantham Institute have developed an outline for a proposed Just Transition Bond to enable NIHE to finance the retrofit of its entire social housing stock.
12. Ongoing engagement with businesses leading the Net Zero agenda (including NI Water, Translink, Catagen, B9 Energy, MJM Renewables etc.).
13. Ongoing coordination of climate initiatives through R&S Board and Belfast Climate Commission.
4.0 Financial and Resource Implications
5.0 Equality or Good Relations Implications/
Rural Needs Implications
The Committee noted the contents of the report.