September 2021: News from the Mayor Marvin Rees

August 31 2021

Decarbonising the classroom

I am proud to be Mayor of a city that is at the forefront of the battle against Climate Change. We were the first city to declare a Climate Emergency and have acted on that declaration by delivering on ambitious environmentally sustainable policies and goals. As part of our strategy to make Bristol a carbon neutral and climate resilient city by 2030, we are continuing to drive forward a £1billion programme of investment in cleaner, greener energy.
As the COP26 summit approaches this autumn it is important that we keep pushing for bigger and better change.
To do our part, we have recently been focusing on how schools can help reduce Bristol’s carbon footprint through projects like low-carbon heating and solar panel installation. We want to support schools to be fit for the future by greening them inside and out. It feels particularly symbolic to be building these initiatives into our schools: these are the buildings where the next generation prepares for a future that will be shaped by our actions against climate change today.
This includes connecting our schools to Bristol’s Heat Network, which provides local businesses, organisations, and housing with heat and power from more sustainable sources. This network uses alternative sources of heat to keep buildings warm. Both Hannah More Primary School and St Mary Redcliffe Secondary and Sixth form are already undergoing work to connect to the Heat Network, with plans in place to add more school sites soon. These networks are central to our plans to reduce the use of fossil fuels in Bristol, and the inclusion of schools in the ever-growing system of connections is a major step forward.
  Other schools in the city are also stepping up to power their buildings more sustainably. Oasis Community Learning are leading by example by installing solar panels on 14 separate Bristol school sites. It is estimated that the carbon saved on even one of these sites will surpass 700 tonnes over the next 25 years!
Climate change is a challenge for the whole city to grapple with, and it stands alongside our need to build more homes for our growing population, and to continue to reduce inequalities across Bristol. No single organisation can deliver the scale of change we need alone, which is why the One City Plan helps us bring lots of major organisations in Bristol to work towards our common goals. The path to net zero will not be an easy one, but now more than ever is the time to work together in support of our planet, our city and each other.