COP26: The secret to Sheffield's success in winning the war on emissions

Sheffield Council’s leader for climate change has revealed the secret to Sheffield’s success after it was named the most sustainable city in the UK.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:42 pm
Councillor Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive for climate change, environment and transport, said the number of cycling and walking routes in Sheffield is growing.

Researchers from the University of Southampton ranked the country’s biggest 25 urban centres for their sustainability – and the Steel City, once an industrial powerhouse, came out on top.

A comparatively high volume of renewable energy production and its wide-open green spaces (such as the third of the city that sits within the Peak District) helped it to top the table.

But councillor Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive for climate change, environment and transport and Green Party leader, said it was a good community of people supporting each other that was to thank for the city’s success and that such collaboration is crucial to tackling the climate crisis.

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Councillor Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive for climate change, environment and transport, said the number of cycling and walking routes in Sheffield is growing.

He said: “It’s pleasing to see Sheffield rated as the most sustainable city in the UK and there is certainly a lot to be happy about in our home city: there are plenty of trees and parks, despite the notorious street tree-felling.

“There is a reasonably good public transport network, even if buses are being squeezed with the national driver shortage and it is still too cheap and easy to drive a car along a bus route.

“The network of cycling and walking routes is growing.

“There is still a reasonable stock of council housing, which is gradually being insulated.

Councillor Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive for climate change, environment and transport, said the number of cycling and walking routes in Sheffield is growing.

“There is a lot more to do, though, and it needs to be done more urgently than ever to reduce carbon emissions.

“One thing that helps make Sheffield sustainable is a good community of people willing to help each other out, in the business sector and in the voluntary and community sectors. Collaboration and innovation are going to be really important to tackle climate change and to continue making the city more sustainable.

“However, there is no single measure that describes how sustainable a city is. It is a complexity of lots of parts. That means everyone can play their part and also that we need to focus on the big plans for the city to bring about major reductions in the amount of energy we use.”