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Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions
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:
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.
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.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
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”.
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.
July 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
the Mayor and climate change denial; whether the Mayor will be publishing an update to his Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; if an audit of the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) will be undertaken; progress under LEEF; promotion of water efficiency measures; commissioning an energy security of supply study for London; the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Mayor and energy suppliers; Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and RE:NEW; confirmation of the single loan provided by LEEF; the Transport for London (TfL) energy strategy; TfL emissions action plan; clarification on the Mayor’s policy on waste incineration; fracking in London; the Mayor’s comments on climate prediction; differences between the Mayor’s comments on climate prediction and the London Climate Change Adaptation; the Mayor’s 2013/14 budget for climate adaptation; TfL climate risks action plan; the Mayor’s work with the insurance industry on building regulations; funding a health sector building to be climate resilient; climate risk information to Health & Well Being Boards; the Mayor’s commitment to look at overheating; work on risks related to flooding and critical infrastructure; flood risk data portal; surface water management plan for London; performance of the Green Deal in London; avoiding future electricity blackouts in London; weather data for London; work on the London Rivers Action Plan; developing community-led responses to heatwaves in London; buildings in London using cool-roof technology; studies with social housing groups on insulation and overheating; work with CIBSE on overheating in new developments; green roofs in London; helping offset the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in London; in light of the Mayor’s recent article – whether he will be abandoning Action 5.1 of his Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; an update on the London Drought Plan; the number of schools in London with rainwater harvesting systems; work on an intensive urban greening retrofitting pilot project to manage surface water flood risk; the work of the Drain London Forum; working with communities at flood risk; approved suppliers on the RE:FIT framework; the Citigen CHP scheme; how the Mayor will stop the Green Deal being a total disaster in London; Job losses in the insulation industry.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
July 2013: There’s continues to be much debate about climate science in the media – most often by non-climate scientists – including contributions by the Mayor in a recent article “The weather prophets should be chucked in the deep end” (see here and here for details). More recently (14 July) an interview by journalist Andrew Neil with Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, on his BBC show The Sunday Politics, has reignited the debate on the media’s coverage, impartiality and bias on presenting climate change science to the public. Following the programme, there was much debate on statements made by Mr Neil during the show which resulted in the following communications: (Initial critique of Sunday Politics show; Andrew Neil response; response to that response!). Mr Davey and DECC have unusually decided to remain silent on the issue since the interview.
As this latest debate on climate science was initiated by a BBC show and Mr Neil’s response is posted on a BBC website, it’s worth looking again at the 2011 BBC Trust review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science which, amongst other issues, looked at the corporation’s reporting on climate change. The report was commissioned by the BBC Trust and undertaken by Professor Steve Jones of UCL.
The report interestingly mentions that the BBC has a Climate Change Steering Group [p36 and p67] and includes the following findings:
“A poll carried out by the Cardiff University Understanding Risk Group in early 2010 showed in contrast that one in seven among the British public said that the climate is not changing and one in five that any climate change was not due to human activity. Fewer than half considered that scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. The divergence between the views of professionals versus the public may be seen as evidence of a failure by the media to balance views of very different credibility. The BBC is just one voice but so many in Britain gain their understanding of science from its output that its approach to this question must be considered.
Much of it has been exemplary, with the investigations of Roger Harrabin, its Environment Analyst, in particular following every twist and turn in the argument. The BBC itself has accepted in an internal document that the balance of debate has changed. In an Impartiality Report submitted to the Trust in 2008 the Executive noted that: “The centre ground in climate science has shifted markedly. One main reason for the change in global opinion was last year’s resolution of the most fundamental questions in climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s official climate change assessment forum. The IPCC concluded that it is beyond doubt that the climate is warming and more than 90% likely that this has been driven by human activity. Given the weight of opinion building up around the IPCC it makes sense for us to focus our coverage on the consensus that climate change is happening, is serious, but is manageable if tackled urgently…”
Prof Jones’ report goes on to say: “These are welcome words but it is not clear to me that they have percolated through the BBC. The presentational style of some coverage since that Impartiality Report has continued to suggest that a real scientific disagreement was present long after a consensus had been reached. Jeremy Vine’s introduction to a 2010 Panorama makes the point: “What’s up with the weather?”: “Does anyone believe the claims anymore?…A freezing winter and allegations that the scientists have misled us have set the experts at loggerheads”. That antagonistic statement is typical of how the agenda on climate change is sometimes set. It suggests that there are two equally valid points of view that must be sorted out – ten years after consensus had been reached that (whatever the cause) climate change is happening.”
“…The real discussion has moved on to what should be done to mitigate climate change. Its coverage has been impeded by the constant emphasis on an exhausted subject whose main attraction is that it can be presented as a confrontation.
“For at least three years, the climate change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves. Their ability so to do suggests that an over‐diligent search for due impartiality – or for a controversy – continue to hinder the objective reporting of a scientific story even when the internal statements of the BBC suggest that no controversy exists. There is a contrast between the clear demands for due impartiality in the BBC’s written guidelines and what sometimes emerges on air.
“The factual argument, even for activists, appears to be largely over but parts of the BBC are taking a long time to notice.The climate story has lessons about impartiality that could be useful in a wider context. It promotes the essential lesson that science is a process and not a result,that as information grow sits narrative can alter and, occasionally,may even change direction.Uncertainty is part of the system and often means that a discovery can be stated only in terms of probability.Unlike the deniers,scientists accept that they could be wrong. To do so is not to admit that they are dishonest. [pages 70-72]
It’s interesting to note that BBC Chairman Lord Patten reported to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee only earlier this year that on climate change the BBC hasn’t “always dealt with the issue as well as we could have done. For example, I will not mention the individuals, but one or two individuals have not been well treated on this issue in the past.” [Q133].
June 2013: As expected, there has been some response to the Mayor’s ramblings on climate change prediction, made earlier this week in his Daily Telegraph column. Somewhat unexpectedly however, some much needed sense and science has been provided by Tom Chivers, a columnist also on the Daily Telegraph! Read ‘It’s not the Met Office’s fault if you wasted money on a swimming pool, Boris’ here. It’s a gentle response…a little less so that Greenpeace who say “let’s be completely clear – Boris is deliberately lying to Telegraph readers.” Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Caroline Flint MP also picked up on the Mayor’s article stating: “It is a distraction from the main debate, when we have Conservatives like Boris Johnson saying ‘ditch our climate change targets’ – or that’s what they seem to be saying – because it doesn’t take us forward”.
The Mayor has recently announced that he will be updating his Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy this summer: from the following statement, it doesn’t appear that he will be addressing the issue of sunspot activity and climate change, an issue that exercised the Mayor earlier this year, but perhaps he will take the Met Office to task over their predictions..? The Met Office have regularly had to respond to correct media reports on climate change – see here: however, it doesn’t appear they felt necessary to respond to the Mayor on this occasion.