Mitigating the effects of climate change within the Greater Norwich area is a cornerstone of the GNLP. This section looks at current activity around measuring air quality as well as future trends in emissions, rainfall and flooding levels.
There is an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) which covers the whole of the city centre. Figures from 201937 show nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter pollution levels are on a downward trend. Improvements in air quality are being achieved by promoting public transport use and other initiatives, including encouraging active travel (walking and cycling). However, this remains an important issue with more work to be done. Monitoring is also in place in Long Stratton, supporting the need to bypass the settlement.
Per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, at 5.1 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year, are below the national average (5.3 tonnes CO2 equivalent). In recent years, they have declined in line with regional trends and slightly slower than national trends38. However, they are above the national average in rural parts of the area, partly due to a greater reliance on car journeys.
Research by the world leading UEA quoting Met. Office projections39 provides estimates of how our climate is likely to change in the East of England up to 2040 in comparison with the 1981 to 2000 baseline. It projects higher temperatures, less rain in summer and wetter winters, indicating:
- An increase in mean summer temperature of 1.2°C to 1.6°C;
- An increase in mean winter temperature of 1.0°C to 1.3°C;
- A decrease in mean summer precipitation of 1% to 13%;
- An increase in mean winter precipitation of 5% to 8%.
Policies in the GNLP will need to contribute to national targets to reduce emissions, plan for transition to a post-carbon economy and ensure new development is adapted to a changed climate.
37Source: Norwich City Council Monitoring
38Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Between 2005 and 2017, Greater Norwich emissions fell by 35%, East of England emissions by 35% and UK emissions by 39%.