Agenda item


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report


1.1       The purpose of this report is to invite the Committee to note that the Council has made a submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – ICLEI reporting platform, which is a global reporting framework to assess progress against climate ambitions at city level. A number of global climate campaigns require a submission to CDP – ICLEI as a prerequisite to joining – we will explain what each entails and request that Members approve Belfast’s participation in these campaigns. This will support marketing and publicity linked to COP26 (1st – 12th November 2021), provide access to networks of good practice, toolkits, and support for Belfast in determining and reaching our city targets.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to note:


                                                         i.   that the Council has made the first annual submission through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – ICLEI reporting platform. This submission will be assessed by CDP, with feedback and a score provided to the city by the end of 2021, which will inform the submission in 2022; and


                                                ii.          that officers will take forward the Council’s participation in a number of global campaigns described in this report, with updates to be provided on an annual basis on the annual CDP – ICLEI submission and campaign progress.


3.0       Main Report


            Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – ICLEI submission


3.1       In July 2021, the Council made the first annual submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – ICLEI reporting platform. This was undertaken to support baselining of activity and emissions in Belfast, and to enable full participation by Belfast in global climate action campaigns such as the Race to Zero, which links to COP26, the Race to Resilience, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and the WWF One Planet City competition. All of these campaigns require members to have made a submission through a recognised reporting mechanism, of which CDP – ICLEI is perhaps the most well-known. The survey consisted of 59 questions across the following categories:


-       Governance and Data Management

-       Climate Hazards and Vulnerability

-       Adaptation

-       City-wide Emissions

-       Emissions Reduction

-       Opportunities

-       Energy

-       Transport

-       Food

-       Waste

-       Water Security


3.2       As Belfast has made a submission to CDP – ICLEI, the city is now eligible to participate in a number of global campaigns which are set out below. The benefits of these campaigns are as enablers for local activity, by giving access to good practice, climate finance partnerships, city networks with a focus on climate and reaching net zero. In joining these campaigns Belfast will be part of global efforts to reach net zero, which will in turn enhance our reputation and allow us to share our progress both locally and globally. For the last 5 years Belfast has been a member of the Global Resilient Cities Network (previously 100 Resilient Cities) which presented opportunities to access additional funding, participate in peer learning initiatives, and to lever support from experts in a range of areas, most recently enabling Belfast to become part of the Real City Play Coalition. 


3.3       Participation in these initiatives will be on the basis that they provide tangible benefits to Belfast and this will be kept under review on an annual basis. The Council will be active throughout COP26, supporting local activity by young people, business, the arts sector and will use the opportunity to lobby for additional powers and finance to allow progress on our local targets. The Belfast Net Zero Carbon Report and Belfast Resilience Strategy – Ambitions Document form the foundation of our programme of activity, and Members will be aware that the Council is developing its own Climate Plan at present. We have established city and council governance structures to ensure accountability and collaboration is at the heart of our programme of work – through the Belfast Resilience and Sustainability Board, Belfast Climate Commission, Belfast City Council Climate Plan Programme Board, All Party Working Group on the Climate Crisis and through city initiatives such as the Belfast One Million Trees Programme.


            Cities Race to Zero


3.4       This global campaign is bringing together a large coalition of leaders from cities, regions, businesses, investors, and universities who are committing to be net zero by 2050 at the latest. To participate Belfast would have to sign up to the following pledges:


                                          I.     Publicly endorse the following Principles:


-       We recognise the global climate emergency;

-       We are committed to keeping global heating below the 1.5°Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement;


-       We are committed to putting inclusive climate action at the centre of all urban decision-making, to create thriving and equitable communities for everyone;


-       We invite our partners – political leaders, CEOs, trade unions, investors, and civil society – to join us in recognising the global climate emergency and help us deliver on science-based action to overcome it; and


-       Pledge to reach (net)-zero in the 2040s or sooner, or by mid-century at the latest, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°Celsius.


                                          I.     In advance of COP26, explain what steps will be taken toward achieving net zero, especially in the short- to medium-term. Set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030 identified in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°Celsius.


                                        II.     Immediately proceed to planning at least one inclusive and equitable climate action as listed on that will help to place your city on a resilient pathway consistent with the 1.5°Celsius objective of the Paris Agreement and begin implementation no later than 2022. Actions are listed in Appendix 1, which has been circulated with this report, with an asterix beside those that Belfast has already made progress against.


                                       III.     Report progress annually, beginning no later than 2022 to the usual or the recommended reporting platform. The cities 1.5°Celsius target and action commitment(s) should be shared through your regular channels of reporting. If the city has not reported before, the city will be contacted by partners for support.




            Race to Resilience


3.5       The Cities Race to Resilience (CRTR) is a strand of the Race to Resilience campaign, focusing on supporting cities to pledge their commitment to building resilience in the face of climate change.


            Should Belfast sign up to the campaign, the Mayor and/or City Council would have to commit to the following four pledges:


                                          I.     Integrate climate change adaptation and resilience in all aspects of urban planning and undertake a community-wide climate risk and vulnerability assessment that also includes all vulnerable communities;


                                        II.     Plan to use available knowledge and scientific evidence, including data and spatial analysis, for decision-making and action, and outline interim targets and milestones as part of a long-term commitment for citywide action;


                                         III.   Immediately proceed to taking action by committing to at least one of the resilience actions listed by COP26, which has been circulated with this report.  An asterix has been placed beside those which Belfast has already made progress against.


                                      IV.     Report commitments by COP26 - and progress annually thereafter, to an existing or recommended reporting platform.


            The list of actions referenced above under pledge 3 have been circulated with this report. At least one action would have to be undertaken to permit participation in the campaign.




            Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM)


3.6       The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built upon the commitment of over 10,000 cities and local governments.


            The Carbon Disclosure Report (CDP)-ICLEI Unified Reporting System is one of the officially recognised reporting platforms to GCoM.


            Signatories commit to develop, implement and report - within the established deadlines, an action plan to reach their targets. More specifically, signatories commit to submit the following:


-       A strategy with a long-term vision including mitigation targets and climate adaptation goals (within 2 years after their official adhesion to the Covenant of Mayors);


-       A Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI), quantifying the energy consumed and therefore the emissions emitted on the signatory's territory (within 2 years);


-       A Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA), identifying and assessing the climate hazards and vulnerable sectors (within 2 years);


-       Actions undertaken on mitigation, adaptation and energy poverty; and


-       Monitoring reports on the implementation of actions (every 2 years) and on emissions (every 4 years).




            Financial and Resource Implications


3.7       There are no financial or resource implications at present.


            Equality or Good Relations Implications/Rural Needs Assessment


3.8       There are no direct equality or good relations/rural needs implications.”


            The Committee noted the report.


Supporting documents: