Following the publication on 4 April of the third part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global report, local charity Camcycle is calling on people in Cambridgeshire to engage in the discussion around how to transition our region away from fossil-fuelled transport. Sharing your views in their Best Streets survey will take just a few minutes but could make a big difference in designing the sustainable places of the future.
In the latest IPCC report which focuses on climate change mitigation, the world’s scientists have made clear that global greenhouse gas emissions must start to fall by 2025 to keep global heating below 1.5C and avoid the severest impacts which will hurt billions of people. However, they also emphasise that most of the solutions are already known and existing climate action policies are currently making a difference. Responding to the report, UN secretary general António Guterres called on government and business leaders to stop “saying one thing, but doing another”, and emphasised that “all of us can do our part” by demanding change from decision-makers.
Globally, transport is one of the sectors that shows the most significant growth in emissions, responsible for 15% of the world’s total. In Cambridgeshire, that figure is 44%, making it an important area to address. The IPCC report estimates that cities could reduce their transport-related fuel consumption by around 25% through a combination of more compact land use and less car-dependent transport infrastructure. Importantly, this would also bring a host of other benefits in terms of human wellbeing, delivering positive impacts to individual health, clean air and social cohesion.
The IPCC report says that there is a need for increased investment in streets and places that can reduce car-dependency: developing low-carbon infrastructure such as protected paths for cyclists and pedestrians helps people to choose low-carbon modes of travel. Camcycle’s Zero Carbon Streets campaign, launched last year on Earth Day, aims to harness the power of local communities to campaign for the changes that are needed in our region to increase levels of walking and cycling. The project is stepping up this year with the appointment of Josh Grantham, the charity’s new Infrastructure Campaigner, who will be supporting Cambridgeshire groups with technical and campaigning advice.
As we approach Earth Day 2022, Camcycle wants to discover the best streets in Cambridgeshire and use them as inspiration to help create the sustainable, liveable places of the future. Which are the region’s most beautiful, healthy or thriving streets? What aspects combine to make a street an unbeatable place to live or visit? And which ideas should we borrow from them to improve other streets in our region?
Wherever you live in Cambridgeshire, please get involved by filling out the short survey at camcycle.org.uk/beststreets