Norwich families can do their bit on climate change

Every household in Norwich is being asked to do their bit to tackle climate change and cut their carbon budgets by a one tonne to help protect the environment.

Yesterday saw a special conference at St Andrew's Hall to discuss the work of the Norwich Independent Climate Change Commission, which has come with a raft of proposals to help the city reduce its carbon emissions.

Ideas put forward include aiming towards a vehicle free city centre, and a �1 per ticket levy on car parking to help set up a Low Carbon Fighting Fight.

Tim O'Riordan, panel member and emeritus professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia, said he hoped the proposals will be taken up by Norwich City Council and other partners. And he said he was keen to launch an initiative where households can cut their own carbon emissions through a host of simple measures such as reducing the amount of water they use.

'We hope to launch a 'save a tonne' campaign,' he said. 'It's essentially asking every citizen within the city of Norwich and greater Norwich to think about looking at their own carbon budget, or greenhouse budget. You don't just have to do it through housing and transport, you can do it through your consumption of water, fuel, and things that have got carbon built into it. If you can cut your water consumption by 10pc you can cut your carbon consumption by quite a lot.'

Claire Stephenson, leader of the opposition Green group, said action was needed now. 'The city council has acknowledged the seriousness of climate change, but hasn't yet taken much practical action,' she said. 'Only last week, a proposal to redevelop Anglia Square was agreed even though it doesn't comply with current requirements for carbon reduction and insulation.

'The council should be investing in renewable energies and tightening planning guidelines. Local residents want to do their bit to help stop climate change and the city council needs to lead in this area.

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Bert Bremner, cabinet member for transport and the environment, said: 'There are elements the city can support, and elements it can't. We must be realistic in what can and can't be done, but these discussions will help inform the development of our next environmental strategy.'

Are you doing something unusual to help the environment? Contact reporter Shaun Lowthorpe on 01603 772471 or email