Last week Low Carbon Liverpool held our latest seminar, focusing on how Liverpool should continue to progress its burgeoning environmental agenda.
Councillor Tim Moore opened proceedings with an update on council proceedings, including the recent announcement of a Mayoral Commission on sustainability in Liverpool by Mayor Joe Anderson. He also spoke about the importance of youth involvement in this agenda, highlighting the significance that several student and youth groups were present at the event, including members of the School’s Parliament and Geography’s own Dan Wilberforce and Jonathon Clarke.
Following this, and after a short introduction into the Low Carbon Liverpool project from Peter North, I spoke about the recent environmental audit that has been taking place. Taking the form of a ‘dummy bid’ for European Green Capital, the audit covered 12 key areas of Liverpool’s environmental performance including climate change, transport, green space, waste management and energy performance. Overall, the results paints a positive picture, with Liverpool’s performance sitting at the cusp of an average-excellent performance, when considered against past Green Capital winners. These results were supported by excellent data covering Liverpool’s green/natural spaces, as well as the quality of the river Mersey and its cleanup over the last two decades. However, several areas were flagged as under-performing. They included cycle lanes, water metering, hybrid cars and recycling rates. Moving forward, the key recommendations to stem from the audit were that the city now makes strides to improve the underperforming areas, while seeking to advance performance across all other areas.
After the interim audit results were presented, we heard from several speakers, talking about the platform for change in Liverpool. Stuart Donaldson from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority spoke about their plans to improve waste management in Merseyside, Les Bellmon spoke about the Eldonians’ strategy for renewable and sustainable power production in North Liverpool and Paul Nolan talked about the excellent work being undertaken by the Mersey Forest across the Liverpool City Region.
Then we heard from youth representatives, representing the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School’s Parliament. They spoke passionately about the need to drive forward future action today and the important role that this agenda plays in making Liverpool an attractive place to live and work.
In the final session, the event broke into roundtable discussions on the audit results, and what Liverpool’s next priorities should be. In particular, the groups suggested that the Mayoral Commission now focus on:
– Increasing recycling levels
– Improving the quality of the cycling environment (and improving attitudes towards cycling)
– Seizing the opportunities to promote a green economy. In particular this should focus on eco-innovation which can underpin improvements in many other areas.
– Transport: Moving across the city should become easier
As well as this, the audience suggested that this can be achieved through better communication from the council, as well as applying its existing strategies more effectively.
Now that it has a good evidence base in place, the city now seems keen to advance this agenda. We remain positive that Liverpool is making some excellent steps in the right direction. Now, the ball is very much in Liverpool’s court.
For more info, see: lowcarbonliverpool.com
Copies of the slide presentations are available here