Gloucester City Council Announces WSP as Climate Change Strategy Partner

Gloucester City Council have this week announced a partnership with WSP Consultants to deliver the local authority’s forthcoming Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and accompanying Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.

The two documents are crucial to the council’s efforts to reach Net Zero emissions across its own functions by 2030 and carbon neutrality across the wider district by 2045 and will lay out in detail the challenges faced by the city in response to our warming world and proposals for how we can address them locally and play our part in the U.K’s efforts to address the climate emergency.

WSP is one of the world's leading engineering consultancy firms, with extensive experience of assisting local government to address the challenges of climate change. Their previous clients include urban local authorities such as Westminster City Council and Leeds City Council, public bodies such as Transport for London and Transport for Greater Manchester, and numerous county councils across the U.K.

Both the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and the Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment will be subject to the scrutiny of Councillors and shaped with public engagement and input from key stakeholders such as the business community.

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “In the past five years alone, the U.K has experienced its joint hottest summer on record, two of its driest summers, its first winter day above 20C, its hottest day on record broken three times, increased summer and winter flooding, and in 2023 experienced its first day above 40C. We should be under no illusions that the climate crisis presents a major challenge and risk to the people and prosperity of Gloucester. The emissions that are warming our planet and their effect are happening and being felt today in our local communities. Local government has a huge role to play in addressing the climate crisis, which is why I have strengthened the city council’s decarbonisation targets, taken us into the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate, delivered the largest tree planting season in the city’s history, and why I’m now delighted to announce this new partnership with WSP on a strategy that will help us address local climate risks and meet our ambitious targets.”

Jon McGinty, Managing Director of Gloucester City Council, said: “As the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report reminded us just this week, burning fossil fuels, unsustainable energy consumption, and poor land use has led to global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. The pace and scale of what has been done so far to arrest this warming, and the plans in place to do so, are not ambitious enough to address the challenges we face. Gloucester City Council recognises the urgency of climate change and is committed to ensuring that every action it takes to address it locally is led by climate science and the strongest evidence available. WSP has an excellent record of assisting local authorities in this process and we look forward to working with them and the wider Gloucester community on this important task.”

Dr Katherine Maxwell, Associate Director - Net Zero Cities, WSP, said: “WSP are delighted to work closely with Gloucester City Council to develop a robust and evidenced based Climate Action Plan that identifies both mitigation and adaptation opportunities for the city. We will develop an ambitious Climate Action Plan that aligns with international best practice and supports the council’s own net zero emissions target by 2030 and its carbon neutrality target for the wider district by 2045.”