“SUBSTANTIAL progress” is being made in Cardiff Council’s ‘One Planet Cardiff’ response to the climate emergency according to a Cabinet report due to be discussed next week.
The One Planet report is one of four key reports setting out the council’s post-pandemic recovery and renewal strategy for the city, covering a green recovery, an economic recovery, a child-friendly recovery, and an organisational recovery.
One other environmental report, focussing on the steps being taken to make Cardiff “Healthier, Greener and Wilder” following a Full Council vote, is also set for discussion.
Of the 7 themes identified in the draft ‘One Planet Cardiff’ strategy, a wide-ranging consultation showed that the public, young people, and businesses all considered energy demand reduction and increased renewable energy generation to be the most important area to focus on. There was also widespread support for other key Climate Emergency initiatives focussed on transportation, green infrastructure, and food.
Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Michael Michael said: “Even as we recover from the unmistakable impact of Covid-19, one thing remains clear – climate change is the defining global challenge of our generation. The council is rising to that challenge, with funding secured for major projects such as the low carbon district heat network, more of our fleet of vehicles transitioning to electric, and plans on track for the start of a mass tree planting programme.”
Work has already commenced on a number of projects within the draft strategy, and according to the report:
a landmark 9MW solar farm at Lamby Way has been completed and is now operational;
funding has been secured to implement the first phase of a low carbon district heat network serving the Cardiff Bay area;
22kW fast chargers will be installed in 10 council-operated car parks in the coming months, as part of a plan to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points across Cardiff. Charging points will also be installed at three main Council locations in support of the transition of the council’s fleet to electric vehicles;
12 electric vehicles have been introduced to the Waste and Cleansing fleet, with 5 more electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) on order. Once delivered the Council will have the largest fleet of manufacturer produced e-RCVs in Wales;
approximately 50 hectares of land has been identified as having potential for the first phases of a mass tree-planting programme which will commence in November 2021. The programme will include a wide range of tree planting including street trees, trees in parkland, woodland, and orchard creation; and
The Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund grant (£228K) was approved in March 2021. Work will commence on the development of the tree nursery at Forest Farm during the summer and the first phase of planting will commence in November 2021.
In January a motion to make Cardiff “Greener, Healthier, and Wilder” was passed at a Full Council meeting. A separate report in response to this motion explains that the Council’s mass tree-planting project aims to build on existing environmental volunteering activity and provide opportunities for schools to become actively engaged in tree planting and woodland creation.
The tree nursery being established at Forest Farm is expected to provide in the region of 5,000 locally sourced and propagated trees annually by the time the project reaches its third year.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said:
“Tree planting will be at the heart of our One Planet Cardiff. The council already plants thousands of trees every year – in the region of 2,400 in the last planting season, but the start of our mass tree-planting programme later this year, will push these figures into a different league as we look to plant more than 800 hectares of new woodland in Cardiff.”
“Making Cardiff healthier, greener, and wilder isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re making progress – as well as planning for a massive expansion in the number of trees we plant, we’re continuing our work to identify land that can be used by communities to create pocket parks and growing spaces and has committed to supporting the National Park City movement, aimed at making our city a place where, as a community, we act together to make life better for people, wildlife and nature.”
In order to generate and maintain stakeholder and community interest in a National Park City for Cardiff, if approved by Cabinet, the report would see the Council commissioning a third party to design and facilitate a National Park City Cardiff Stakeholder event and support the establishment of governance arrangements which ensure momentum for the movement.