The Council will plant 2,000 new trees in public spaces in the next three yearsN CHADWICK

Cambridge City Council has announced a series of green proposals in its recently published Budget Setting Report for 2021-22 to reduce emissions and promote biodiversity in the city. 

The measures include the creation of a ring-fenced ‘green investment’ reserve, which will comprise existing council funds and is to be invested in various energy efficient and energy generating projects.

The City Council has also committed to researching future possibilities for large scale investments, such as solar panels and energy projects.

A Council statement revealed that solar power schemes across eleven council locations have led to a 25% reduction in the council’s own emissions in the last six years.

In efforts to increase biodiversity, the Council will continue with plans of doubling the number of wildflower meadows in the city’s parks and open spaces, as well as planting an extra 2,000 trees in the next three years.

Also outlined in the report are goals of encouraging and increasing the usage of electric vehicles as part of efforts to reduce emissions. These include the installation of charging points in Council car parks, as well as the development of on-street charging. The Council has also made a commitment to replace council vehicles and its waste fleet with electric alternatives, where possible.

Other measures include retro-fitting council homes to increase their energy efficiency, spending over £300,000 on carbon-reduction at council-owned swimming pools, and investing in the creation of a further Climate Change Officer role. 


Mountain View

University of Cambridge aims to divest from fossil fuels by 2030

 Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: "This really is a green budget for Cambridge – the proposals outlined in it will build significantly on the work that the council has been doing over recent years to reduce emissions and tackle climate change."

Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, Cllr Rosy Moore added: "This new budget will enable us to continue with this vital work to reduce [carbon emissions] further and to work with our partners around the city to reduce the emissions of Cambridge as a whole."

She continued with a call for Cambridge residents, businesses and organisations "to consider what more they can do to address the biggest threat facing us all."

The proposals come after the Council declared a ‘biodiversity emergency’ in 2019, and are said to help the Council meet the objectives of its Cambridge Air Quality Action Plan 2018-23. They will also contribute to the Council's ambition of Cambridge becoming ‘a zero net carbon city in the coming years’.

These measures additionally follow the University’s commitment in October to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2030, and King’s College’s decision last January to convert its chapel lawn into a meadow to encourage a “biodiversity-rich ecosystem” during the spring and summer of last year.