Water Industry News

Report Highlights Climate Challenges For Cambridgeshire And Peterborough

The first report from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate Change has highlighted the scale of the issues facing the region.


Cambridge News reported on the findings, noting that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area has been identified as being at “high risk” from climate change.


In addition to the region needing to do more in the fight against climate change, the report also explained that the effects of climate change are likely to be “particularly severe” in this part of the country if changes aren’t made.


For example, the area is at an increased risk of flooding, high summer temperatures, water shortages and damage to the natural carbon stores found in the deep peat of the Fens.


The report also revealed that the county’s greenhouse gas emissions are currently around 25 per cent higher per person than the UK average, which means that everyone needs to do their part to lower their emissions and work towards the country’s broader goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.


To help tackle some of the challenges facing the region, an estimated £700 million spread across private and public investment will be needed, the report stated.


Flooding is a particular problem facing the region, with the research revealing that as many as one in ten homes and one in four agricultural and industrial production facilities at risk of river flooding by the end of the century.


As this is just the first report from the independent commission, they have set out around 30 recommendations for the local authority to start exploring ahead of a more comprehensive report and action plan that is expected to be released later this year.


Among the recommendations are to introduce a retrofitting programme to provide 350,000 homes with low-carbon heating, as well as to ensure that all new buildings are net-zero ready by 2023 at the latest.


New properties should also be designed with the changing climate in mind, the commission recommended.


There should be action on transport in particular, the report suggested, noting that all buses, taxis and council-owned and contract vehicles should be zero emission by 2030. It also recommended banning all diesel vans and trucks from city centres by this time too.


The council should aim to completely phase out the use of petrol and diesel cars by 2050, as well as ensure that all home deliveries are made by zero-emission vehicles only by 2030.


Baroness Brown, chair of the commission that prepared the report, highlighted the comparatively high emissions the region has compared to other parts of the UK. “We also face high risks from the changing climate – in relation to rising summer temperatures, water shortages and flooding,” she asserted.


She also stressed that the region has the resources to meet these challenges “in our businesses, farming communities, academic and research institutes – and most importantly our people”.


Research published in 2020 by the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that the UK’s water supply is expected to fall by seven per cent by 2045 as a result of climate change, with parts of the country therefore likely to face severe shortages unless changes are made.


The NAO also noted that the government has not been effective at encouraging the public and businesses to reduce their water consumption.


If you want to make sure you’re using this precious resource efficiently at your business, arrange for a water audit to find out how you could make positive changes for the planet and the size of your water bills.