University of Portsmouth Alumni Magazine 1 1 | Page 2

HELPING PORTSMOUTH BECOME A SHOWCASE FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING CAN CHANGES IN ONE CITY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE GLOBAL EFFORT TO MINIMISE CLIMATE CHANGE? Portsmouth alum Tristan Thorn BA (Hons) ’12 MA ’17 says yes. And he should know. As Strategy Advisor – Climate Change for Portsmouth City Council, he plays a key part in shaping what Portsmouth does next. Tristan is coordinating departments across Portsmouth City Council to achieve an ambitious target – net zero carbon emissions from Portsmouth by 2030. He has just finished drafting the strategy for how the city will achieve that ambitious goal. ‘It’s a living document,’ Tristan explains. ‘I’ve talked to other councils and some universities. It was reassuring that people from other councils agree that to become net zero by 2030 was well above and beyond targets for the national Government. So the main change was to focus on what we as a council could target; what was in our sphere of influence.’ That means everything from transport to waste management – and where there’s an area, such as decarbonising the National Grid, that is outside the Council’s control, they’ll work to lobby and influence change. Tristan is already seeing exciting changes at the local level, including a successful food waste collection trial, which opens the door for a new anaerobic digester. The digester will convert food waste into biogas, which can be used for heat, fuel and electricity instead of energy generated from fossil fuels. What’s more, diverting food waste to the digester will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from landfill. Overall, Tristan says this can save ‘a phenomenal amount of emissions.’ He’s keen to see less traffic on the roads, not just because this would reduce air pollution but also because of co-benefits to health, such as an increase in cycling and walking. And he’s keen for the city to develop greener public spaces because studies show this will improve wellbeing. Tristan studied at the University of Portsmouth twice, graduating with a BA (Hons) in International Relations in 2012, and an MA in International Relations and European Studies in 2016. He feels these experiences prepared him well for his current role: