To consider the report of the Director Net Zero & City Management.
The Net Zero Project Manager presented the report, which advised the Audit and Governance Committee of the City Council’s Net Zero Risk Register, which was attached as an appendix to the report. The Register identified five risks, as set out below, which offered an initial high level assessment of the risks associated with delivering Net Zero within the City Council by 2030.
· Risk 1 - Too ambitious target to reduce City Council carbon emission to 'net zero' by 2030.
· Risk 2 - Unable to reduce City Council Scope 1 direct emissions from owned sources (fuel consumption and company vehicles).
· Risk 3 - Unable to reduce City Council Scope 2 indirect emissions from generation of purchased energy.
· Risk 4 - Unable to reduce City Council Scope 3 other indirect emissions (supply chain, assets, investment, waste disposal, employee commuting).
· Risk 5 - Afforestation - land use changes to offset carbon emissions.
The Net Zero Risk Register sets out the risks involved associated with measures required to reduce carbon emissions within the City Council, including its services, operations and buildings. The register will be updated on a six monthly basis in line with the Council’s Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plan. The report also set out the detail of a carbon baseline report for the City Council which will set out a number of actions for the delivery of Net Zero, which would be presented to the Strategic Scrutiny in September 2022.
The Net Zero Project Manager responded to the following Member’s comments:-
· Exeter City Council’s outputs, and overall carbon emissions were less than other large organisations in the City, however the Council had an important role to play in influencing and supporting the city in its delivery of Net Zero by 2030.
· further work would be undertaken to ensure the Risk Register contained climate change adaptation measures, as well as mitigation as set out in the National Audit Office Climate Change Risk Good Practice Guide.
· work had been taking place with the Local Government Association (LGA) to share ideas on reporting and how to tackle Scope 3 Emissions, to record in a more meaningful way and bring down embodied emissions though procurement.
· work was being undertaken to ensure that a consistent and uniformed approach was being taken on Greenhouse Gas reporting. Exeter City Council was already working collaboratively with other District Councils in Devon as part of the Devon Districts C02 Baseline Commission.
· the Net Zero team were engaging with Services to ensure policies reflected climate change and supported the Net Zero actions set out in the Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plan.
In response to a Member’s comment, the Service Lead - Net Zero and Business also confirmed that two members of the team had received carbon literacy training and were now qualified to deliver the necessary training internally without any further cost. They had devised a training programme to support Committee report authors to complete the impact of carbon reduction section in reports to ensure a meaningful and consistent approach.
The Audit and Governance Committee reviewed and noted the Net Zero Risk Register, which would also be reported to Strategic Scrutiny Committee on a regular basis.