'Green Norwich' takes a battering

Norwich's green credentials took a battering yesterday when it emerged that the city ranked below more than 30 others in the country for its impact on the environment.

Norwich's green credentials took a battering yesterday when it emerged that the city ranked below more than 30 others in the country for its impact on the environment.

A study in to “ecological footprints” found that if everyone lived and behaved like the citizens of Norwich then we would need almost three planets to cope with the strain on resources.

Ironically, Norwich is at the centre of research in to reducing carbon emissions, with CRed based at UEA, has the countryside on its doorstep and the highest ratio of green space per resident of any city in Britain.

WWF UK ranked 60 cities in England, Scotland and Wales by the average ecological footprint of its residents, which is based on the land and sea area a person needs for food, energy and resources, and to absorb waste and pollution.

Residents of Winchester in Hampshire have the biggest impact on the environment of any city in Britain, using up the equivalent of more than three and a half planets, with Norwich placed midway in the table at joint 33rd best with Peterborough, Inverness and Preston.

But the cities with the smallest impact do not fair much better.

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Residents in Plymouth and Newport still require an average of 2.78 planets to survive, compared with Norwich's 2.97.

The main factors creating an individual's footprint are housing, transport, food, consumer goods and services, with wealthier cities consuming more and having large footprints.

City council leader Steve Morphew said: “In the last 18 months we have virtually doubled our recycling and we have set really high targets to be among the best in the country in the next five years.”

Colin Butfield, head of campaigns at WWF, said: “The battle for the environment will be won or lost in our cities.

“They have the highest potential for eco-living due to local facilities, public transport links, dense housing and shared public resources.”

Have your say: visit www.edp24.co.uk

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