Sheffield Climate Alliance respond to A Better Future Together: A Prospectus for Sheffield City Region

In February 2017, leading organisations within the Sheffield City Region, working alongside councils, businesses, nonprofits and individuals, produced A Better Future Together: A Prospectus for Sheffield City Region. It sets out a collective twenty-five year vision for the Sheffield City Region. You can read it here. Sheffield Climate Alliance applauds the ambition of the report and its focus on social as well as economic issues in of A Better Future Together. However, we believe it is a missed opportunity that the report does not explicitly engage with the problem of climate change.

Not only must Sheffield City Region work to fulfil its climate obligations, but we believe that energetically working to tackle climate change would help tackle many of the issues that A Better Future Together prioritises. Continuing our constructive collaboration with the Vision team and with Sheffield City Region leaders, the following report makes an evidenced-based argument for the benefits of acting on climate change within the Sheffield City Region.

You can read or download the full, referenced version of A Sustainable Vision for Sheffield City Region here. You can also read the introduction to the report below (references omitted).


A Sustainable Vision for Sheffield City Region
A response to A Better Future Together: A Prospectus for the Sheffield City Region
by Sheffield Climate Alliance (Climate Jobs Team )

Introduction

“[There is] no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible. A 4°C world is likely to be one in which communities, cities and countries would experience severe disruptions, damage, and dislocation, with many of these risks spread unequally. It is likely that the poor will suffer most and the global community could become more fractured, and unequal than today. The projected 4°C warming simply must not be allowed to occur—the heat must be turned down.”
World Bank

“The only way to avoid the pessimistic scenarios will be radical transformations in the ways the global economy currently functions… This suggests a need for much more ambition and urgency on climate policy, at both the national and international level. Either way, business-as-usual is not an option.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers

There is much to celebrate in A Better Future Together: A Prospectus for the Sheffield City Region. We welcome the scope of the analysis, extending from economic challenges to social issues, with a recognition that these problems cannot be solved separately. We welcome the intention to benchmark Sheffield against other city regions that have taken transformative action. We welcome the focus on bolder ambition, coherent programmes of action and aculture of collective action.

However, we are concerned that A Better Future Together fails to acknowledge both the urgent responsibility that SCR has to reduce its carbon emissions and, crucially, the social and economic benefits that would arise from doing so. Our argument is that a wide ranging programme of climate mitigation-related jobs and ecological investment (see Section 1) would do much to fulfil the stated objectives of A Better Future Together. We believe that by failing to explicitly address climate change, A Better Future Together is missing out on a ‘win/win’ opportunity. We would therefore like to see ‘Achieving our aims within a carbon budget compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement’ added to the list of significant challenges acknowledged in A Better Future Together.

This Response first briefly explains why SCR faces an imperative to decarbonise and become more sustainable, and the necessity of bringing together coherent SCR leadership for creating the conditions to finance this transition. We then address the six programmes laid out by A Better Future Together. Each section mirrors its counterpart in A Better Future Together; first setting out a sustainable vision of the programme in broad terms, then making direct reference to the original propositions. We argue that the objectives of each programme can be best achieved through the implementation of sustainable policy.

Continue reading here.