Sheffield Climate Action reported that:

Last night, Sheffield became the largest council in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency. The vast majority of the council (minus one UKIP councillor) agreed that we are in a ‘Climate Emergency’ and that councillors want to work together on cross party action. As Paul Scriven said ‘This goes beyond party politics’. There was also agreement across party lines that we need to dramatically strengthen our targets.

THIS IS AMAZING! We’ve been campaigning on these issues for years in Sheffield and this is the most significant development we have ever seen.

We will be using the Climate Emergency Declaration to encourage everyone in the council (and other parts of the city) to reflect on what they can do to turn this into action. Citizens and institutions such as the universities need to be actively involved to make the vision of a carbon neutral Sheffield a reality.

As Jack Scott said during the debate ‘A fairer, greener city is better for all of us’.

Sheffield City Council have listed a set of achievements on reducing their carbon footprint that would shame most other Councils, including ones that have gone on to set a target date of 2030 to go carbon neutral. There is a lot of disappointment that they appear to not be convinced yet that the Science is telling them to set a much more ambitious target now.

Motion passed by Sheffield City Council on 6th February 2018

That this Council:-
(a) believes that climate change and sustainability are amongst the
biggest issues of the 21st century and the effects of manmade and
dangerous climate change are already manifestly occurring;
(b) notes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
detail that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1°C of
global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels
and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other worrying changes;
(c) notes that this Administration has previously categorised climate
change as the biggest social justice issue of this century which
requires bold, radical action, and last year implemented the Green
City Strategy – setting the goal of becoming a zero carbon city by
2050, showing our city‟s commitment towards making our
contribution towards the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement;
(d) recognises the critical role that cities have to play in delivering a
zero carbon future and that whilst the present Government have, in
this Council‟s opinion, been woefully inadequate at rising to the
scale of the climate change challenge, city leaders can take
innovative solutions to address many of the causes and impact of
climate change on a systemic level;
(e) recalls that the city has already undertaken a number of innovative
and bold initiatives that are aimed at reducing our impact on the
climate and reducing our city‟s carbon emissions, but recognises
that limiting global warming cannot be achieved by a single
organisation or a technological silver bullet, and requires changes
to how we all live, work and play and believes every citizen has a
role to play in securing a climate safe future;
(f) further notes that, in recognition of this, the Administration
established a Green City Partnership Board, with representation
from key city stakeholders including our universities, the private
sector and community and voluntary organisations, including the
Sheffield Climate Alliance, with the agreed purpose of ensuring that
Sheffield can achieve the Green City Strategy objectives and
deliver a low carbon, resilient and sustainable city;
(g) notes that, over the period 2013/14 to 2016/17, the Council has
reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 19%, and that this
Administration has also initiated schemes to reduce carbon
emissions throughout the city, such as:-
(i) as a landlord with over 40,000 homes, Sheffield City Council
has invested in improving the fabric and insulation of our
homes and installed high-efficiency gas central heating
boilers in the majority of homes, and as a result, our homes
have increased their SAP11 (Standard Assessment
Procedure) energy rating from 64 out of 100 in 2005 to 71 in
(ii) use of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles as part of its
vehicle fleet since 2017, noting that the vehicles use the wind
powered mini-grid hydrogen refuelling station at the
Advanced Manufacturing Park;
(iii) continued development of the district heat network, turning
local waste into electricity and heat for the city, with up to
45MW of heat produced and supplied to over 140 buildings
connected to the District Energy Network; in addition, the
facility generates up to 21 MW of electricity to the National
Grid, which is enough to power 25,000 homes;
(iv) using new technology where available, including 66,800 new
LED streetlights;
(v) our Ethical Procurement approach ensures that the Council‟s
suppliers do everything they can to reduce their carbon
(vi) as well as reducing carbon, we are committed to improving
the city‟s air – we are looking at implementing a Clean Air
Zone in the city centre, tackling the most polluting vehicles,
and we are the first large city to introduce anti-idling
measures to stop people leaving their engines running
outside schools; and
(vii) our transport strategy is seeking to make sustainable modes
of transport the number one choice for people in Sheffield;
(h) notes that the IPCC report identifies cities as one of four critical
global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action, but
recognises this will require major transitions in how both mitigation
and adaptation are undertaken and, therefore, we need to consider
the opportunities the city has to deliver on a revised commitment,
as there is only a limited advantage to be gained in setting a target
without clear deliverable actions that will enable us as a city to
achieve this;
(i) believes that, as a city, we have made considerable progress in
carbon reduction but we need to go further still in light of the IPCC‟s
special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October
2018, which confirmed the catastrophic consequences of manmade
climate change and urgent need to act;
(j) therefore declares unequivocally that our city, country and planet
(k) notes that as a result of this call for action, the Green City
Partnership Board will be exploring how Sheffield should respond to
the IPCC report, both in terms of actions as well as reviewing our
existing commitment to become a zero carbon city by 2050; and
(l) supports this Administration‟s commitment to report back to Full
Council within 6 months, with a more ambitious date for the city to
become zero carbon, accompanied by an action plan setting out the
required work to deliver a new goal through all relevant strategies
and plans, and would entirely and actively welcome the involvement
of the cross-party scrutiny system in shaping and overseeing this
vital work.