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Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions
April 2016: A further contribution of potential actions for an incoming Mayor – this time by Arup – in report just published ‘New Ideas in London‘. In the report Arup identify “five areas that the new Mayor should focus on during their first term in office.” Amongst these are a couple considering energy and climate issues – a summary of which follow below:
Driving down corporate carbon emissions
- The Mayor has the authority to help adjust London’s procurement protocols to include corporate carbon performance.
- The new Mayor could immediately commission a consultation led by the GLA’s Head of Legal and Procurement to investigate legislative options.
Electric bus battery switch scheme
- Could London work with existing suppliers to design buses that allow their batteries to be switched out quickly and smoothly without disrupting operations? This could take place at optimum points on the network and could ensure that operations are not penalised by the time it takes to charge bus batteries.
Other areas of interest include ‘A London Blue Grid’ and ‘Walking in a Green London’.
19 June 2015: It’s unlikely I’m going to get through the full 180 pages of the Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change (by the way – if you’re looking for the contents page – it’s at the end of the document), but I did want to see if there was anything there on cities – and was pleased to see that there is specific consideration on how the quality of life of urban dwellers is impacted on by the state of the environment around them.
Selected below are parts of the Encyclical that touch upon the challenges placed upon cities due to environmental stresses and increasing climate change. Much of it is quite general, and much of it is probably more targeted at those growing mega-cities of the South – but the points equally resonate to pockets of deprivation in London as well as in many other developed cities.
“44. Nowadays, for example, we are conscious of the disproportionate and unruly growth of many cities, which have become unhealthy to live in, not only because of pollution caused by toxic emissions but also as a result of urban chaos, poor transportation, and visual pollution and noise. Many cities are huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water. Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.
January 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Fuel Povery and Children; Meetings of the Mayor’s London Green Infrastructure Task Force; Membership of the Mayor’s London Green Infrastructure Task Force; London Plan policies encouraging development of solar farms; consideration of carbon emissions in policy decision making
Invitation to attend the European Capital Cities meeting ahead of the Paris 2015 IPCC summit; Progress made in 2014 to delivering the London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; Measuring CO2 emissions across the GLA Group; An update on the GLA group’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) reports; the Mayor’s concern over increasing signs of climate change; GLA Economics analysis on energy
Communication to the Treasury over tax incentives for community energy projects; TfL’s hedging policy on energy prices; Misleading information on shale gas; Reallocation of RE:NEW funds to RE:FIT programme; Havering Solar Farm planning application; New powers to Ofgem; RE:NEW programme underspend; An update on RE:NEW programme projections; Research commissioned by the GLA’s Environment Team
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
July 2014: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Mayoral involvement with the Local Government Climate Roadmap; organisations operating at the London Sustainable Industries Park; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) to invest in low carbon London projects; whether Energy Performance Certificate or Green Deal assessments will be provided for homes that go through the RE:NEW programme; monitoring high energy consuming buildings in London; reductions in forecasted projections of CO2 savings in Mayor’s energy supply programme; Transport for London’s (TfL) Energy Strategy; the Mayor’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with energy suppliers; visit by Mayor’s energy advisor to Camden’s biomethane refuelling station; correspondence with DCLG on the Mayor being able to set London specific energy efficiency targets in planning rules for new development; meetings with DECC over encouraging the use of solar PV on GLA land and building; new district heating network using heat from Greenwich Power Station; the low take up of ECO energy efficiency programme in London; connecting Whitehall District Heating Scheme to Pimlico District Heating Undertaking; the Mayor’s response to a recent London Solar Energy report by Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones; future TfL electricity costs; whether the Mayor responded to the Government’s recent solar PV consultation; concerns over government changes to the ECO as raised by the Mayor; funding for the next round of the RE:NEW programme; energy efficiency requirements in the private rented sector; monies received by the Green Bus Fund; work being undertaken to assess the economic impact to London as a result of climate change; attendance at the World Mayors Summit of Climate Change; planning offset funds; contract awarded for management of the RE:NEW programme; and if the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group has considered solar PV.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
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.”
And good to see our own Mayor welcoming the creation of this new position:
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.
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.“
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.
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 Resource; London 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.
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.
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.
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: