A Green Giant
WORDS: Tom Williams (Youth Editorial Group)
Cardiff has been named one of Britain’s most sustainable cities in a recent study considering recycling, biodiversity, how cities were addressing climate change, and quality of life for residents. The points, which are all so closely linked, will affect our future like we can’t even begin to imagine.
Peter Madden, Chief Executive of Forum For The Future, who led the survey, said: “Leaders who put sustainability at the heart of their vision, can create thriving cities which offer people a high quality of life, respect their environment and have the resilience to cope with changes climate change will bring.”
The Welsh capital came fourth out of 20 cities in a league table, beating London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. But that’s just within the UK. Not even the UK’s best cities can match international leaders in sustainability, such as Stockholm, Portland in the US and Curitiba in Brazil, the report found.
Mr Madden said: “I’d like to see some shining examples of what makes a truly sustainable city here on home turf, so that we can not only inspire other UK cities to follow, but can also be the inspiration for cities around the world.”
Bristol came top in the UK for its rise in recycling and composting rates, and its consistently high scores on water quality, waste collection and green spaces.
Bristol's top spot is a second boost in a few days. A couple of weeks ago, it was shortlisted for the European green capital award, the only UK city to be nominated. Council leader Helen Holland said: "Our vision is to make Bristol a truly green capital with a more sustainable future for everyone." Maybe this could be us in Cardiff one day? And why not? Being sustainable will benefit everyone ? there are no losers, only winners; so we should push towards this with arms open as wide as possible.
Overall city rankings:
2008 rank City
1 (3) Bristol
2 (1) Brighton & Hove
3 (4) Plymouth
4 (8) Newcastle
5 (6) Cardiff
6 (2) Edinburgh
7 (7) Sheffield
8 (14) Leicester
9 (11) Nottingham
10 (10) London
11 (9) Bradford
12 (17) Coventry
13 (13) Sunderland
14 (5) Leeds
15 (12) Manchester
16 (16) Wolverhampton
17 (15) Glasgow
18 (19) Birmingham
19 (20) Liverpool
20 (18) Hull
But the fact is we’re not top, not even in the UK. There’s action to be taken and thoughts to be thought. The food waste initiative launched recently was a great step to tackle climate change, because if food waste is sent to landfills where it decomposes in the absence of oxygen, methane is produced. Methane is 20 times more powerful than CO2, so be careful where you put your rubbish! More on that another time.
So for now, well done to those who have helped to make Cardiff a green giant, but let’s always aim higher. The future expects it of us.
Source: Forum for the Future: The Sustainable Cities Index.
Feature from The Guardian online homepage.
More environmental information here.