The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) Fourth Carbon Budget is out (download link above), with a headline that the Coalition Government should target a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (against 1990 levels) by 2030. They believe this to be possible with existing technology at a cost of less than 1% of GDP.
There’s plenty of interest in the support, not least a detailed yet succinct summary of the science. But for this blog’s purposes, p.111 is particularly useful. Noting that an updated Low Carbon Transition Plan has yet to be published, the report provides a list of policy intentions which chime with those proposed by the CCC:
- new car and van emission targets (through the EU)
- National Renewable Energy Action Plan intended to deliver 15% of UK energy being sourced from renewables.
- funding for Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration plants
- £860m for Renewable Heat Incentive
- funding for manufacturing facilities to support offshore wind and energy efficency technology
- funding for electric cars and other low-carbon vehicle technologies
- Sustainable Transport Fund for local authorities
- Green Investment Bank
Also of note is a mention for ‘localism’ as part of a wider cultural shift (p.122):
This scenario includes very high standards of insulation, limiting of internal building temperatures, major improvements in lighting and applicance efficiency, dietary changes, reduced need to travel resulting from improved land-use planning and a shift to localism.
‘Localism’ is used in a very broad way here; there is no discussion of the detail of CLG’s plans around the concept other than to emphasise “the importance of developing an integrated land-use and transport planning strategy to ensure that decisions on new residential and commercial developments fully account for transport emissions.” (p.182)
So the Budget doesn’t include any detail on local activity or implementation, but provides a good overview of the state of play in climate policy and the level of ambition required.
Originally posted at http://regenerationem.wordpress.com/
UPDATE: The NI186 figures were revised in November 2009 – more details here.
A new dataset for carbon dioxide emissions by local authority has just been released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Actually, make that two datasets. It’s fair to say that there is potential for confusion between the two, so here is a quick guide to clear up what to use when.
The statistics given most prominence by DECC are for total emissions by local authority area for 2007 (local figures are only available after a two year gap). These figures cover all emissions on an ‘end-user’ basis; that is, only those associated with energy usage within homes and businesses. The emissions from the region’s power stations are allocated to those using the energy being produced (useful for the region as it is a net exporter of energy). The figures for total emissions give the most accurate picture available of how the actions of people within the region are contributing to climate change.
However, this picture includes some sources over which local government has little control; namely transport emissions from motorways and large emitters who belong to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). To reflect this, DECC have removed these sources for a parallel set of statistics released in line with National Indicator 186 (NI186) guidelines. NI186 is a requirement for districts to reduce their per capita emissions which is included in the majority of the region’s Local Area Agreements.
So total figures reflect the scope of the overall problem, but for a focus on local and regional policy it’s the NI186 figures that are the key.
Intelligence East Midlands is working with new data to present some visualisations for the new Climate East Midlands website currently in development. 2007 is the third year of data made available at the local level, so offers an opportunity to begin to study change over time. I’ll be checking back in on the blog once we’ve looked over the figures more carefully. OK, that’s enough of the abstract here’s the latest ‘Act On Co2′ ad from DECC; certainly doesn’t pull any punches…