Ricardo helps the city of Bristol towards carbon neutrality by 2030

Ricardo helps the city of Bristol towards carbon neutrality by 2030
02 March 2020

Ricardo helps the city of Bristol towards carbon neutrality by 2030 

Bristol City Council has published a new report, supported by Ricardo experts, exploring key aspects of how the city could achieve its declared ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030, twenty years ahead of the legally binding national target of 2050

Bristol City Council published the report last week, exploring key aspects of how the city could achieve its declared ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030, significantly ahead of the UK target of 2050. The detailed study, which was led by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and supported by Ricardo and consultancy Eunomia, focused on cutting to near zero the carbon emissions associated with the city’s use of fossil fuels such as gas, petrol/gasoline and diesel, the electricity it consumes and the waste it produces. 

Drawing on this detailed analysis, the report outlines key interventions which are needed to establish the conditions in the city in which achieving net zero by 2030 would become possible. These include: fostering shared purpose and enabling active participation; securing powers & capacity; implementing the technology needed to achieve net zero; and sector-specific initiatives. The focus of the Ricardo contribution to the project was upon achieving carbon neutrality in transport.
 
Particular recommendations arising from the transport aspects of the study included major investments in encouraging a modal shift, including the development of public transport and active travel infrastructure, to secure rapid reduction in vehicle miles, reclaiming road space from private vehicles, encouraging freight consolidation, and discouraging car journeys into and around the city. In terms of electrification, a controlled approach to EV charging infrastructure roll-out was recommended, with a sustained push for EV car clubs and mobility as a service. A key enabler for this was identified as the implementation of an electricity distribution network upgrade programme, including smarter operation, to accelerate the achievement of a ‘network for net zero’.
 
“This was a fantastic opportunity to work with a city that’s at the forefront of decarbonization efforts and to contribute to its future strategy,” commented Tom Nokes, sustainable transport consultant at Ricardo. “When you compare current trends with the sort of changes we’ll need to see over the next decade, it’s clear that transport will be one of the most challenging areas to address. That said, it’s exciting to consider the wider societal, economic and environmental benefits that these changes could deliver beyond emission reductions. It’s vital that cities like Bristol continue to set ambitious targets and take proactive steps towards achieving them.”
 
For more information or to download a copy of the report prepared by CSE with support from Ricardo, visit https://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2435
 
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