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New funding to accelerate Cardiff Council’s carbon cutting

A £300,000 fund to support Cardiff’s journey towards becoming carbon neutral and ‘help further embed climate change awareness in decisions taken by Cardiff Council’, has been announced.

The funding comes as part of ‘Fast Followers’ an element of Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme, which was designed to help places and businesses across the UK accelerate the delivery of the transition to Net Zero.

a large building with a giant sign on the side of it

These projects, in both urban areas such as Birmingham and Edinburgh and rural areas like Devon and the Outer Hebrides, are all designed to overcome non-technical barriers like citizen engagement or procurement.

Following a competitive process, 21 Local Authorities across the UK were selected to receive a share of £6m funding to help their areas to accelerate innovation, all with one aim – achieving Net Zero.

When announcing that Cardiff’s application had been successful Innovate UK said: ‘The funding provides a unique opportunity to analyse the decisions making systems at play in the Council. It will fully utilise the knowledge and experience provided through the Fast Followers programme to embed Net Zero into its governance, decision making and investment strategies for long term benefits.’

Cardiff Council has already overseen:

  • emissions from council buildings fall from 40,000 tonnes in 2014/15 to just over 18,000 tonnes in 21/22 (excluding leisure centres)
  • the start of a process to transition its fleet of vehicles to electric
  • the development of a new socially responsible procurement strategy
  • the development of highly energy-efficient sustainable new council homes
  • 50,000 new trees planted
  • multiple sustainable drainage schemes introduced
  • the development of a network of fully segregated cycleways
  • work commence on the delivery of a new, low carbon District Heat Network
  • a 9MW solar farm delivered at Lamby Way

The funding will increase staff capacity to help ensure that low-carbon thinking is built into the day-to-day behaviour of council employees and the wider public sector, as well as the Council’s decision-making, and investment strategies.

Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Cllr Caro Wild, said: ‘Since introducing our One Planet Cardiff strategy, good progress has been made to reduce the amount of carbon created by the Council’s own operations. The latest figures show a 12% reduction in the space of a year, but we can and must go further.

‘Responding to the challenge of climate change requires all of us to change the way we think and behave and as a Council it’s important we try to lead by example. This funding will help us further analyse our own decision making and help us build low-carbon thinking into everything we do.’

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