Sheffield City Council is holding its first Zero Carbon Sheffield Summit on Friday 19 March where it will release the Pathways to Zero report – the city’s response to the climate crisis.

The summit will be online, open to the public and feature talks from the lead author, sustainability expert Andy Sheppard of Arup, Chief Executive of Community Energy England Emma Bridge and Sheffield City Council’s new Chief Executive Kate Josephs.

In 2019 Sheffield City Council announced its ambition to become a zero carbon city by 2030 and that goal remains, but the Pathways to Zero report shows just how significant the challenges are and highlights the desperate need for the entire city, and the country, to work together harder than ever before to reduce emissions.

The report shows the challenges of reaching even an 85% reduction by 2030 and highlights important steps people across the city can take, including switching from fossil fuels to zero carbon alternatives and changing to healthier lifestyles.

The biggest reductions can be made by switching away from petrol or diesel cars, replacing gas boilers with efficient heat pumps, and investing in buildings to save energy by reducing wasteful heat loss. Changing how we travel, and what we buy and throw away, and how we do business will also play an important part.

The report shows how changes we need to make can have benefits for people’s lives and increase jobs. Reduced air pollution, healthier and more comfortable homes, and skilled job opportunities for local people are just some of the benefits to addressing the climate crisis in Sheffield.

The authority remains ambitious and is calling for a citywide commitment from every individual, business and organisation.

Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, said: “We knew that zero carbon was an ambitious commitment and would be a challenge, but these reports give us a clear, evidenced-based route we can take to reduce emissions. We remain ambitious and will continue striving towards our target.

“We are constantly working towards this, recent progress includes our plans for a greener vehicle fleet and installation of new electric charge points and we continue to prioritise sustainability across projects and policies.

“We can lead the way, but we can’t do it alone, we need everyone, as well as the Government to recognise their responsibility in this so that we can all look forward to a cleaner greener future. This summit is the start of a zero carbon conversation with the city and will help us put a plan in action to tackle the climate crisis.”

Councillor Terry Fox, Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We have an opportunity to build back better from the pandemic and it’s really important that we hear from the people who live, work and study here, to make plans that work for and benefit everyone. We need to position the changes we’ve been faced with to our advantage, including better travel options, more efficient homes and local jobs, that will improve the fabric of the city.

“We’re investing millions of pounds to embed sustainability across council initiatives* and we will look to align these to the recommendations in the Pathways to Zero report. We can take many positive actions from it, but the report also emphasises the challenge we are faced with. We can make fantastic progress if the whole city plays their part, and our approach will be to engage, enable and empower our citizens, but we need support from Government and changes at national level to make that extra difference if we are to meet the zero target by 2030.”

The Summit will have an introduction to the detail of the reports from Andy Sheppard, while Emma Bridge, Chief Executive of Community Energy England will talk about the potential for communities to benefit from climate action.