Bristol has signed up to be part of Step Up Now, an initiative which is showcasing the rich and diverse projects taking place throughout Europe to build carbon neutral societies. 52 European cities, regions, business and investors are already taking part in the initiative which calls for greater ambition to tackle climate change across the globe.

Our Mayor and City Councillors, across all political parties, are committed to making Bristol a carbon neutral city as quickly as possible and want to rapidly accelerate delivery of low carbon and smart energy infrastructure. The City’s formal target is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and, in November 2018, the city’s Full Council unanimously agreed a motion put forward to set a new ambition  – to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Excerpt from the Step Up Now website:

Delivering an opportunity together, creating a new European economy and society

The European Union has enabled a breakthrough in the low-carbon transition by adopting clear targets and policy frameworks. So far, it has worked. Now, recognizing the urgency of the challenge—as conveyed by the latest scientific evidence in the IPCC’s 1.5 degree report and by extreme weather events that impacted so many regions this summer—it is time to move on to the next phase.

The world must reach net zero emissions early in the second half of this century and drastically cut emissions over the next decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The EU has the knowledge, skillset and economic drivers to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. It will be essential to scale up efforts over the next decade and review existing targets for 2030 accordingly. We believe the European countries can and should show the way towards a zero-emissions future.

We have an opportunity. An opportunity to transform our economy and society. An opportunity to confront challenges to our security and wellbeing. Here is an opportunity to clean our air and water, and to reduce waste, all the while making our homes and cities better places to live. This is an opportunity for a managed transition, to create good jobs in growing fields, to bolster innovative industries, to build out resilient infrastructure, and to develop new business models that support a better, healthier, and more sustainable way of life. The need to combat climate change is becoming more urgent every day, and this gives us the opportunity to accelerate these actions and work together to build a net zero emission Europe by 2050 at the latest.

We are businesses, investors, cities and regions who are seizing this opportunity. We are working to quickly and substantially advance energy efficiency and increase the share of renewables in the energy system to rapidly move away from fossil fuel use. We are working to shift transport away from polluting models to people-centred systems. We are producing food and using land more sustainably.

These actions bring immediate benefits to people’s everyday lives: reducing the negative health impacts from pollution and making buildings and workplaces more comfortable and productive. They are making our businesses the market leaders of the future, and making the economy into a more resilient part of the solution. We are proud to show the rich and diverse set of actions that already exist to respond to climate change and encourage others to join us delivering on commitments, investing in new solutions and innovating to reimagine the economy without carbon emissions.

We are all in this together. We can only succeed through cooperation, by working together to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement without leaving anyone behind. We know that we need to develop a new form of shared leadership between political leaders and actors in economy and society to do so. Together, we can seize this opportunity and confront the challenge ahead. We are committed to achieving our goal and will continue acting to bring it into reality. We invite you to join us.

Cities and organisations wishing to sign up  and  support Step Up Now shoud visit www.stepupnow.eu/join-us for more information.