Council action on climate change

We have been working on climate change and energy issues for over 10 years. With lots of successful projects completed already, we are moving forward to a new phase of action.

New framework for energy and climate change

The full extent of the work across Bristol is contained in the ‘Our Resilient Future: A Framework for Climate and Energy Security’.

This document is being considered by Bristol City Cabinet on 3 November 2015. This framework aims to reduce Bristol’s carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

View the Cabinet report on 'Our Resilient Future: A Framework for Climate and Energy Security'.

This document describes a range of actions we will lead on, enable and explore to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings, transport, businesses and city-wide activity. 

Our successes and future targets


We have reduced energy use by 18% and carbon dioxide emissions by 17% between 2005 and 2013.

During this time there has been a 24% reduction in per capita emissions, as Bristol’s population has grown by almost 8%. 

This is one of the highest rates of carbon reduction of any major city and Bristol has the lowest per capita carbon emissions of the largest cities in England.


Intermediary targets for 2025 of 35% and 2035 of 50% are also proposed to enable us to track our progress more effectively. 

Bristol also has a target to reduce energy use by 30% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

Progress against our carbon dioxide (CO2) targets are  measured using energy and transport data provided by the Department of Energy & Climate Change for each local authority area.

Planning for climate change

We have been developing our approach to climate adaptation over the last three years.

Key activities have included assessing the weather-vulnerability and climate-sensitivity of services, and bringing together over 100 council officers and experts from within the city to discuss climate change threats and opportunities.

This diverse team effort involves practitioners from adult community care to flood risk management, food specialists to asset managers and organisations such as the Environment Agency, University of the West of England, NHS Bristol and the Schumacher Institute.

We are focusing on embedding climate change adaptation into strategy development, risk management and key decision-making where the aim is to influence everyday council business and long-term goals.