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Tag Archives: climate change

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The first Community Energy Strategy: opportunities for local authorities

* The Community Energy (CE) strategy provides a framework for support to increase the role of community groups in the distribution, production and saving of energy; with the aim of contributing to national carbon reduction targets, energy efficiency, local resilience, reductions in fuel poverty and localism.
* It has been developed closely with the various CE groups and coalitions in the UK, and enjoys their broad support. While the focus of the strategy is on communities, the vital role of local authorities in facilitating and co-driving local decentralised energy and energy efficiency is a significant part of the strategy.
* The strategy mainly announces incentives and initiatives which cover England, recognising that in Scotland and Wales, support systems and funding for CE groups already exists and good lessons can be learnt. It will be of interest to those working across different types of local authorities, especially in community engagement, energy and planning.

Draft Deregulation Bill – what next?

The Draft Deregulation Bill is intended to “free thousands of businesses from red tape and make life easier for individuals and civil society”. It introduces some potentially controversial new measures, in addition to repealing legislation introduced by the Labour government as part of its own localism programme, and tidying up duplicated and out of date legislation.
It contains a number of proposals that are important for local authorities. This briefing outlines the main implications for local authorities, other than the training, skills, and education provisions, and will be of general interest to elected members and officers.

The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate

* The national adaptation programme is a “progress report”, focusing on the most pressing risks identified in the climate change risk assessment 2012, and outlining a series of policy and action responses being taken by both the public and private sector to make the UK more resilient to a changing climate. As a progress report, it contains no new policies or investment decisions.
* The top 3 risks: flooding, water shortages and temperature rises, are explored through a number of thematic areas: the built environment, infrastructure, communities, natural environment, agriculture and forestry, business, and local government. There is a strong focus on the economic and business opportunities of responding to a changing climate effectively.
* The programme of work covers England. This briefing will be of special interest to staff in planning, economic development and environmental units, at all tiers of local government.

C’llr Awards 2013: Sustainability Champion of the Year

revised-logos

  Many people focus on the importance of addressing climate change and sustainability on the global stage. However, severe flooding and storms in parts of the UK this week highlight how significant it is to also tackle environmental concerns at …

A guide to financing energy efficiency in the public sector

* On 12 November 2012 the government released a new national energy efficiency strategy. At the same time the government published a guide to financing energy efficiency measures in the public sector, as well as additional evidence explaining domestic energy use patterns. This additional guidance is the focus of this briefing, through references will be made to the overall UK strategy.
* The guidance makes a strong case for the financial and organisational benefits of reducing energy costs through energy efficiency, and the financing mechanisms available to councils for doing so. A number of interesting case studies of local action are presented.
* The briefing is relevant for all municipal departmental managers and staff, given that energy efficiency measures provide an investment opportunity that can reduce costs in relatively short payback periods across departments and functions.

Local Authority funds competition (DECC)

* The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched 3 funds for local authorities to a) tackle fuel poverty, b) launch green deal activities, and c) encourage collective fuel bill switching among citizens.
* The total funds of £40m are available to applications from upper and lower tier authorities, and bids can also be made in consortia’s. Applications can be made by downloading the application pack and submitting via email to la.funds@decc.gsi.gov.uk by November 30th at 5pm.
*The application pack also asks local authorities to complete an optional survey on government policy on renewable heating.
*This briefing is of interest to upper and lower tier authorities (one of the funds is applicable in Scotland and Wales), seeking funding to assist them in delivering housing-related energy efficiency measures and to assist or launch green deal activities in their localities.

How local authorities can reduce emissions and manage climate risk: Committee on Climate Change report

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent government advisory committee and it was asked by Greg Barker, the Energy Minister, to issue advice to local authorities on how they can be incentivised to show leadership, and what scale of ambition they should set themselves.

* The CCC report summarises the national context of carbon budgets, before outlining the quantity of emissions local authorities could potentially reduce via policy levers under their influence. It details measures that can be taken by local authorities, by sector (focusing on buildings, transport and waste), and recommends all local authorities produce carbon plans, and for the government to consider a new statutory duty for them to do so.

* The report is useful for all staff and elected representatives working in local authorities who have some degree of control over the way in which climate change is approached in their department or office. The report can be read in conjunction with a second LGiU briefing entitled “Requirements on Local Authorities: household energy efficiency”, which outlines local government responsibilities to deliver a report to national government by March 2013 detailing measures to improve household energy efficiency.

Draft Energy Bill 2012

This briefing highlights the relevance to local councils of the Government’s proposals to reform the nation’s electricity market:
* a new Energy Bill is planned for introduction to Parliament, and will establish a new legislative framework for the delivery of secure, affordable and low carbon energy;
* a pre-legislative scrutiny report argues that the reforms overlook the importance of energy efficiency and undermine the opportunities for competition in the market place, especially at community level;
* a new landscape of electricity generators will follow with implications for local councils’ energy strategies, infrastructure planning and civic leadership.

C’llr Awards 2012: Sustainability Champion of the Year

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to face our generation, and how we tackle this issue over the next few years will have a deep impact upon the lives of future generations across the globe. Scientific research into …

Climate Week launches today

Today sees the beginning of Climate Week, “a new national occasion to show how we can combat climate change”. Over 3,000 events are taking across the UK (you can find ones near you here) and more than 100,000 people have been …