Climate action sign

Reading Council signs global covenant on climate action commitment

Reading Council have ‘cemented’ their commitment to tackling the climate emergency by signing the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

Signed by council Leader, Jason Brock, the covenant was launched in 2008 and is built on the commitment of over 11,500 cities and local governments around the world, spanning six continents and 142 countries.

Collectively they represent more than one billion people who are united by a shared long-term vision to support voluntary action to combat climate change.

The signing of the covenant’s letter of commitment obliges signatories to:

  • Commit to setting ambitious carbon reduction targets at least as ambitious as national goals. Reading is already working towards becoming net zero by 2030, compared to the UK target of 2050.
  • Engage residents, business and governments at all levels in implementation. Reading is already doing so through the multi-agency, cross-sector Reading Climate Change Partnership and has plans to extend engagement in 2022 and beyond.
  • Act now to develop, implement and report on progress. Reading is already doing so via its Climate Emergency Strategy and annual progress reporting, including via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) platform.
  • Network with fellow local authorities and leaders to support each other. Reading is already doing so via various local government forums in the UK and beyond.

Commenting, Councillor Brock said: “The signing of this covenant is the latest example of the council’s long-standing commitment to tackle the climate emergency, which dates back to 2006 with the signing of the Nottingham Declaration and which was refreshed when we declared a climate emergency in 2019.

“In that time, the council has made huge strides by cutting our own carbon footprint by nearly 70% and last year being named as one of only 11 UK local authorities, and one of just 95 across the world, to make the Carbon Disclosure Project’s coveted ‘A’ list on climate action.

“The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership across the globe and I am delighted to add Reading’s name to it.”

Reading has a long track record of taking action on climate change and since 2007 the authority has worked with partners in the Reading Climate Change Partnership to take this forward.

The partnership’s previous Climate Change Strategy, Reading Means Business on Climate Change 2013-20, set a target of a 34% reduction in borough emissions by 2020, which was achieved several years early.

The partnership’s new Climate Emergency Strategy, which has been endorsed by the council, commits to the goal of a ‘net zero, resilient Reading by 2030’.

You can watch the full PSE365 Public Sector Decarbonisation in Association with Liberty Charge virtual event on demand here.

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