Agenda item


            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 draft Belfast City Council Carbon Baseline and Trajectory.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to note the progress towards a draft Belfast City Council carbon baseline and trajectory and note that a more detailed report will be brought to a future committee when the baseline and trajectory report has been finalised.


3.0       Main report


3.1       BCC Carbon Baseline and Trajectory Report


            In October 2019, Belfast City Council declared a Climate Change Emergency. It was agreed that a Belfast City Council Climate Mitigation and Adaptation plan would be prepared and adopted with an aim of reducing carbon emissions by 80% compared to 2005 levels as quickly as possible.


            The Carbon Baseline and Trajectory report can be used as a benchmark to record current emissions and to track performance against future emissions. The carbon footprint baseline has been undertaken in accordance with best practise guidance by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and calculated using 2019 conversion factors for the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


            The Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) were contacted to clarify which conversion factors should be used in Northern Ireland and they confirmed that the UK conversion factors, published by BEIS are the data that they would employ.


            The trajectory baseline year was nominated as the financial year of 2019/20, which is the reference point to base ‘current’ emissions on and used to forecast the pathway to net zero carbon. It was decided to use this year as this represented the most comprehensive period of monitoring the energy and water usage of all assets and is considered a ‘typical’ year prior to Covid restrictions.



            A selection of site surveys are scheduled to be undertaken in June 2022.


            The carbon footprint is categorised into scopes, which cover:


            Scope 1 (direct) emissions are from activities owned or controlled by the Council. Examples of Scope 1 emissions include emissions from combustion in Council owned or controlled boilers, furnaces and vehicles.


            Scope 2 (indirect) emissions are associated with purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling. These indirect emissions are a consequence of the Council’s energy use, but occur at sources that the Council do not own or control. Examples include grid supplied electricity and heat provided through a heat network.


            Scope 3 (other indirect) emissions are a consequence of the Council’s actions that occur at sources the Council do not own or control and are not classed as Scope 2 emissions. Examples of Scope 3 emissions include business travel by means not owned or controlled by the Council (grey fleet), disposing of the Council’s own waste and purchased goods in the supply chain, etc.


3.2       The draft report analyses Belfast City Council’s Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and the potential measures that can be taken to reduce. The early recommendations arising from the analysis are set out below:


            Short Term Action


            Collect and save emissions data as it is made available for all core Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.


            Set up processes and procedures to request and record emissions data from suppliers and staff.


            Carry out detailed energy audits of all buildings.


            Calculate the likely increase in electricity usage expected from installing heat pumps and liaise with the DNO to receive a budget quotation to increase the capacity.


            Medium Term Action


            Develop detailed feasibility studies to identify viable energy efficiency projects, localised power generation projects and carbon offsetting schemes.


            Carry out detailed engineering design.


            Develop a procurement strategy to deliver projects.


            Understand which funding options are available and develop a strategy on how to fund specific projects.


            Liaise with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to understand the grid capacity and how this relates to future electricity demands.


            Calculate the carbon footprint of the whole Local Authority area and provide an action plan for the whole district to be zero carbon.


            Long Term Action


            Make a transition away from fossil fuel vehicles.


            Increase electric vehicle charging network and sustainable travel infrastructure.


            Develop large scale renewable heat and power generation projects.


            Roll out energy efficiency and power generation projects to all buildings.


            Develop on-going tree planting and biodiversity improvement schemes.


            The Committee is asked to note the progress towards a draft Belfast City Council Carbon Baseline and Trajectory and note that a more detailed report will be brought to a future committee when the baseline and trajectory report has been finalised.


4.0       Financial and Resource Implications


4.1       The report identifies potential costs, which will be subject to further analysis during the development of the Belfast City Council Climate Plan, and Climate Investment Plan.


5.0       Equality or Good Relations Implications/

            Rural Needs Implications


5.1       None.”


The Committee noted the contents of the report.


Supporting documents: