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RESPECT FOR THE CLIMATE - THE BIG DEBATE

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A special debate on climate change, involving students, businesses, community groups, campaigners, Councillors and ...
A special debate on climate change, involving students, businesses, community groups, campaigners, Councillors and concerned individuals will be hosted by Nottingham City Council on Monday 9 October.

Guest speakers at the event will include Alan Simpson MP, Prof. Saffa Riffat from the University of Nottingham and Alex Nickson, from the Greater London Authority, who is responsible for ensuring that the capital is able to accommodate and adapt to the problems of a changing climate.

The debate will feed into a special one-item full council meeting later that day where councillors will consider a resolution. If agreed, its recommended actions could significantly improve Nottingham's efforts in tackling climate change at a local level. It is the first event of its kind in Nottingham and one which will allow members of the public to steer potential far-reaching council policies of the future.

Recommendations in the proposed resolution include:

- the introduction of higher energy standards for new buildings through the city council's planning system;

- the Nottingham Declaration Development Group work to encourage the extension of the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change to include a 'Declaration for Universities' and a 'Declaration for Health Trusts';

- the identification of new wind turbine sites to power public buildings, street lights and housing.

In 2000, the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change was launched and Nottingham City Council was the first local authority to sign. Since then, the city has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes and is now one of the 25 largest purchasers of renewable energy in the EU. The city's radical transport policies have dramatically stemmed the growth in traffic congestion and its public transport system is considered one of the best in the country.

In August, the city council and its partners were awarded£250k from the Big Lottery Living Landmarks Fund to develop their ideas for the world's first zero-carbon community. The bid, for£25m, was submitted last year and is now competing with 20 or so other national finalists for the funding. If successful, the project - called The Meadows OZONE - will enable an area of the city to generate its own renewable energy using a new wind turbine and water from the River Trent.

Michael Edwards, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council and portfolio holder for finance, performance management and sustainable development said:

'We are delighted with the level of interest in this event and in the new Respect for the Climate campaign. We are determined to keep up the momentum and to demonstrate how everyone can play a role in tackling climate change. Nottingham is a national driver of the climate change agenda and in the last few months we have been successful in injecting some pace to bring other local authorities on board.'

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