Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions

New Cities & Climate Change Envoy appointed

3 February 2014: Following on from a recent announcement that London’s former climate change and energy advisor had been appointed to head up the C40 Cities climate and energy initiative, news that the President of the Board of C40, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been appointed as the UN’s first Special Envoy on Climate Change and Cities. The World Bank’s news release states:

“…building low-carbon cities – is critically important. The United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change needs to be a visionary who ruthlessly pushes to reach bold targets as quickly as possible. The selection of Michael Bloomberg is inspired. He has the potential of helping mayors across the world turn their cities into clean metropolises that dramatically reduce emissions of dangerous levels of pollutants into the atmosphere. The potential global good is enormous: Estimates show if the world’s cities take a low-carbon development path, we could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 giga-tons, or 30 percent of the world’s emissions, which is twice the annual carbon footprint of the entire European Union.”

This new post builds on an announcement made by the World Bank in October 2013 of a new Low-Carbon Livable Cities (LC2) Initiative – more of which here.

And good to see our own Mayor welcoming the creation of this new position:

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City Hall Carbon Emissions Session

January 2014: The London Assembly’s Environment Committee is to hold an oral evidence session next week (30 January) on the Mayor’s carbon targets. A paper sets out that the evidence session forms part of an “investigation” into the delivery of the carbon targets, which will take place over February and March 2014.

At the evidence session – which is open to the public – the Committee will meet with Mayoral Advisors and GLA officers in the environment and the property portfolios, as well as external guests from the energy sector, local government and other external stakeholders to discuss targets to improve energy efficiency in homes, targets to increase decentralised and low-carbon energy supply, and general carbon reduction targets and strategy.

The targets are set out in the Mayor’s 2011 Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy and include:

  • Energy efficiency in homes and workplaces – particularly under
  • RE:NEW (a support team to help social housing providers and local authorities to enable domestic retrofit projects to be delivered faster, bigger and with better value for money)
  • RE:FIT (a building retrofitting scheme to support public sector organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and subsequent energy bills)
  • non-GLA work such as the Green Deal (a Government initiative that is designed to help businesses and home owners to employ more green technologies in their properties);
  • Low-carbon transport;
  • Low-carbon energy generation;
  • Tackling fuel poverty;
  • Reducing carbon emissions in the GLA group;
  • Measuring London’s carbon emissions; and
  • Funding routes, business models and skills opportunities in the low-carbon economy.
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London Home Energy Efficiency programme “significantly delayed”

December 2013: An oral evidence session between officials and the London Assembly Budget & Performance Committee (see earlier post for details) highlighted the slow progress of the Mayor’s domestic energy efficiency retrofit programme RE:NEW. A new paper (06a(v)) presented to the 18th December meeting of the London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee provides some data helping illustrate the extent of the shortfall.

The current forecast for 13/14 (right hand chart) shows that RE:NEW is predicted to just miss the project target – however, the performance level to date indicated shows that even this reduced level of delivery is still some way off.  The oral evidence session (referred to above) in fact suggests that only 3% of the 13/14 target has as yet been achieved (996 tonnes of CO2 compared to a target of 29,416 - earlier post). Paper 06a(v) provides some explanation for the slow progress:

  • Delivery  of  the  RE:NEW  Phase  II  carbon targets  is  significantly  delayed  and  contractors  will  miss  their  obligations.   This  is  largely  due  to  delays  in  availability  of  ECO  (government  subsidy). Delivery  of  the  carbon  savings  from  the  interim  Support  Team  has  exceeded  targets  for  quarter  two
  • Performance  payments  have  been  withheld  from  contractors  and  the  funding  is  being  reallocated  to  the  RE:NEW  Support  Team  in  order  to  reduce  the  shortfall  in  performance. However, this  is not sufficient  to  completely  mitigate  the  lower  savings  from  RE:NEW Phase  II  and  this,  combined  with  a  delay  in  confirmation  from  the  European  Investment  Bank  for  ELENA  funding  prior  to  commencing  procurement  of  the  full  RE:NEW  Support  Team,  means  its  is  forecast  75  per cent  of  2013/14  carbon  targets  will  be  achieved.
  • The  targets  for  future  years  have  been  reviewed  and  updated  in  light  of  the  above  and  as  planned.   They  have  been  reduced  for  2014/15  and  2015/16,  but  an  additional  year  of  delivery  (2016/17)  has  been  added,  which  leads  to  an  increase  in  carbon  savings  overall – albeit  over  a  longer  period.

The paper goes on to report latest CO2 saving estimates of two further Mayor’s climate change projects – RE:FIT (the public sector building retrofit project) and the London decentralised energy programme. The latter states that “Significant progress has been made on several projects, particularly with regards the Lea Valley Heat Network, Lakeside Energy from Waste, Greenwich Power Station and the Kew Gardens Decentralised Energy scheme.

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RE:NEW targets set out

December 2013: The Mayor’s recently released draft housing strategy states that “The capital also has some of the worst housing conditions in the country, thus prioritising estate based regeneration through improving the quality and energy efficiency of existing homes remains a key priority. To achieve this the Mayor will make available funding to ensure that by 2016 all council landlords will be in a position to independently resolve their Decent Homes backlog, and will support affordable housing providers to retrofit their entire stock for improved energy performance by 2020.”

Section 2.6 of the consultation paper directly addresses ‘Retrofitting and improving energy efficiency’ and provides some useful information on the Mayor’s ambitions for his flagship environmental programme, RE:NEW:

“To increase retrofit numbers under the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal schemes, the RE:NEW programme has put in place measures to assist all large landlords in London to identify works that can be carried out to their stock, procure the works, access finance and manage contractors. This support will continue until at least 2016, maintaining the momentum for the successor ECO arrangements. The GLA is keen to expand retrofit activity on a more strategic area, or even whole borough, basis. The Green Deal also represents an innovative way to finance energy efficiency works which saves money for individual households. The Mayor will continue to promote the opportunities that the Green Deal offers to Londoners across all tenures. As Table 1 shows, the projected rate of delivery in London is therefore expected to increase significantly over the next three years. “

All of this may however change markedly following the Government’s recent announcement that it will scale back the level of support going to insulation through the ECO as well as significantly reduce the level of solid wall insulation (SWI) installations: the boost in support to SWI systems was often quoted by Government as being a huge advantage to the Mayor’s retrofit ambitions in London due to the high prevalence of solid wall homes here.

Further updated details on the RE:NEW programme.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

November 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the price of Londoner’s gas bills; the uptake of the Green Deal in London; details of schools going through the RE:FIT Energy Efficiency Programme; the recent GLA-commissioned study looking at London’s Zero Carbon Energy ResourceLondon Energy Costs; the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) Loan to Croydon; work undertaken on Energy Efficiency guidance to SMEs; buildings adopting the GLA Sustainable Design and Construction Standards; whether the Mayor had sent a copy of the GLA’s  ’Energy Planning: Monitoring the implementation of London Plan energy policies in 2012‘ research to CLG;  the Mayor’s response to a recent Environment Audit Committee recommendation that local authorities should have a statutory duty to produce low-carbon plans for their area; the GLA’s response to CLG’s Allowable Solutions consultation; Mayoral concern over CLG’s Housing Standards Review consultation; organisations working alongside the Mayor’s Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; events proposed around the Mayor’s Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; London’s children and fuel poverty; evaluation of the Know Your Rights Campaign; the Mayor’s support for nuclear; the Mayor’s response to former PM John Major’s comments on households having to choose between heating or eating; an update report on the Mayor’s Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy; the Mayor’s response to concerns that the ECO is to be scrapped; the Mayor’s strategy for delivering the ECO and Green Deal in London; whether the Mayor has been in contact with CLG over the Housing Standards Review consultation.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Reducing building CO2 emissions through better design

November 2013: The GLA have commissioned research to determine the “most effective way for buildings to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions through the design and fabric, based on the Building Regulations modelling tools.” This study will support the GLA’s recent Supplementary Planning Guidance on Sustainable Design & Construction guidance (for more of which here) and London Plan targets which requires all major planning applications from 1 October 2013 will need to provide CO2 emission savings 40% beyond the 2010 building regulation requirements.
Full details of the commission here.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

October 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

Climate change leadership; London’s successful ‘green economy”;
potential for wind energy in London; the human contribution to climate change; Nissan Electric taxis‘; emissions from electric vehicles; promoting community energy through planning; Mayor’s briefing to the House of Lords on the Energy Bill; Mayoral visits to the Dagenham wind power project; RE:NEW programme advice on supplier switching; supplier switching advice; Nuclear power and London; bills savings achieved by households under RE:NEW; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to New York; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to Rio de Janeiro; the Mayor’s view on wind farms; London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) Advisory Committee papers; nuclear power value to Londoners; roll-over energy contracts for SMEs; CO2 savings achieved under RE:NEW; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to San Francisco; the Mayor’s view on MASDAR’s investment in the London Array; the Mayor’s view on shale gas; investment opportunities for London through financing wind power projects; hosting a London ‘Climate Week‘; RE:NEW advice supplier switching; renewable electricity supply to the Tube; SOURCE London charging points; London’s need for more electricity substations; completion of Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; applications to the London Schools Hydrogen Challenge; budget allocated to the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; Londoners supported through the Mayor’s Know Your Rights helpline; GLA officers working on the new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; RE:NEW report backs; Benefit Entitlement Checks (BECs) under RE:NEW; carbon offsets for flights; key activities in the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; private sector funding leveraged by RE:NEW; targets under the Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; community level responses to heatwaves; disseminating research undertaken to date on how to cope with heatwaves and the health impacts of cold homes.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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The BBC’s Climate Change Advisory Group

October 2013: Following on from an earlier post on the BBC’s reporting of climate science – where it emerged the BBC had some time ago established a ‘Climate Change Advisory Group’ – I sent a few emails to the BBC Trust and information service asking for brief details about this particular Group. With no response forthcoming, I then sent an FOI request to the BBC Trust asking for some basic information about the Group:

Continue reading…

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London seminar on measuring city GHG emissions

September 2013: C40 Cities and Siemens’ Infrastructure & Cities sector held a breakfast seminar in London earlier this month on methods to help improve the measurement of city greenhouse gas emissions. A C40 blog sets out discussions held on the day, which focussed around the Pilot Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Further information on work taken to date on this initiative with 33 cities is posted at the World Resources Initiative (WRI) and full detail on the design of the tool is on the the GHG protocol website.

London has had an inventory in place for around a decade. The latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI) was updated for 2011 data just over a month ago and is posted on the London Datastore – details of which are in an earlier post here.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

September 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

How the Mayor’s programmes will respond to the forthcoming IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Assessment Report; the Mayor’s “climate sceptic views“; London’s growing energy demand; £145k spend on climate change adaptation;  the amount of energy generated from waste incineration; the number of GLA officers working on energy efficiency retrofit; the amount of ECO funding that could be directed to London; the operation of the RE:FIT schools energy efficiency programme in Harrow; the RE:FIT schools programme in Brent; Government’s proposed changes to building regulations and its potential impact on London Plan energy requirements; the Mayor’s response to DECC’s Community Energy – Call for Evidence; the Mayor’s support for community energy schemes in London – such as Brixton Energy; publication of the latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); the cost of producing Using Local Powers to Maximise Energy Efficiency Retrofit – How to’ materials for London’? (report here); the terms of loans provided by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); extending LEEF loans to the private sector; details of the LEEF Advisory Committee; consultancy companies working on LEEF; the amount spent by LEEF; the number of loans given out by LEEF; rollover energy contracts for SMEs; Londoners energy bills; the amount of renewable electricity provided by Source London electric vehicle charging points; funds previously spent on adding energy efficiency measures to Metropolitan Police buildings currently for sale; developing a Fuel Poverty Action Plan for London; the supply of electricity to London’s electric vehicle charging points; the supply of electricity to London Underground; London Green Deal targets; a London Green Roofs map; the Mayor’s Green Deal assessment on his home; stimulating Green Deal finance packages; spend of the Green Bus Fund; funding received from the Green Bus Fund; identifying brownfield land in London suitable for sustainable energy projects; CO2 savings achieved by the Mayor’s climate change programmes; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority to invest in low carbon energy projects; when the next update to the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is to be published; how climate change will affect London’s summer temperatures; new anaerobic digestion plant in Surrey; the level of waste being directed to the Beddington incinerator; the London Plan’s policies on incineration; the Mayor’s approval of the Beddington incinerator; if the Mayor had pressed for the Beddington project to develop as a anaerobic digestion plant; if the Beddington incinerator can operate in combined heat and power (CHP) mode; heat network around the Beddington incinerator; the growth of waste incineration in London to 2016; the role for future incineration in London; local planning controls and fracking; the fracking potential in London; details of the new RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme; targets for the new RE:NEW programme; the choice of the Capita Group to manage the new RE:NEW programme; GLA buildings that have been treated by the RE:FIT programme; whether the Mayor’s Environment advisor had visited the Kings Cross CHP and district heating scheme.

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Mayor releases emission accounting guidance for the construction industry

September 2013: New GLA report“The Construction Scope 3 (Embodied) Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance is aimed at helping professionals working within the construction industry to better understand and account for the embodied greenhouse gas emissions associated with construction; for example, those emissions relating to the extraction of raw materials and manufacture and transport of products used in new build and refurbishments”.

This report was led by Best Foot Forward working in collaboration with the Greater London Authority and the London Sustainable Development Commission.

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Latest greenhouse gas inventory data for London published

September 2013: The London Datastore has recently posted detailed greenhouse gas emission data for London across a wide range of economic sectors. The spreadsheet for the 2011 update to the London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI) provides estimates of energy consumption and CO2 emissions from Homes, Workplaces and Transport within the Greater London area and is produced by the GLA on an annual basis to measure progress against the Mayor’s Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) also provide London emissions data (though not to the level of detail as that set out in the LEGGI) in a series of  sub-regional statistics which can be downloaded here.

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