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Tag Archives: climate change

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City Energy: A new powerhouse for Britain

This report by the IPPR encourages cities to engage in the energy supply market directly- by stimulating local distributed energy generation, and to invest in low-carbon infrastructure through, especially, their pension funds. It argues that the current energy market model is failing and local authorities can create new revenue streams by supporting localised energy production; localising energy benefits (eg jobs and resilience) and reducing fuel poverty in the process.

This report is most relevant for chief financial officers, and electricity and infrastructure-related departments, mainly in the larger cities and local authorities, but a role for smaller/rural authorities in the energy market is also possible

Climate Change 2014 : Mitigation

* This briefing is the second of two looking at the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* It summarises its latest report which assesses the most up-to-date scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social evidence, from across the world, on the mitigation of climate change.
* The findings suggest more immediate and ambitious action is required if governments are to meet internationally agreed targets. It also highlights the linkages and co-benefits of climate strategies and wider socio-economic goals.
* Leaders, chief executives and policy officers will want to incorporate and reflect this latest evidence in their own adaptation and mitigation strategies. There is a wealth of practical implications for executive members and officers with responsibility for planning, waste, transport, estates management and procurement.

Climate Change 2014 : Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

* This briefing is the first of two looking at the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* It summarises two recent reports which assess the most up-to-date scientific and socio-economic evidence, from across the world, on climate change and its impacts.
*The reports confirm the IPCC’s previous findings that the way and rate at which the climate is changing is unprecedented and that human influence clear. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped. The sooner these are reduced, the less the financial, environmental and human cost in the long term.
*Leaders, chief executives and policy officers will want to incorporate and reflect this latest evidence into their own mitigation and adaptation strategies, and reflect on the implications for their local strategic leadership responsibilities.

Climate Change and Social Justice: A Review

* The review is part of a series by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (written by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) ) which aims to analyse the social justice implications of climate change in the UK. Using a rapid research assessment method to analyse literature, it also makes recommendations related to existing mitigation and adaptation policies and actions (at both national and local level) and the degree to which they currently or could deliver socially-just outcomes
* It suggests that little is known about the social impacts of climate change policies. In general there is a focus on short-term disaster responses rather than long-term resilience building. It argues that local authorities, especially in the policy areas of spatial planning, health, housing, have a key role to play and need to more strongly consider the social implications and equity dimensions of their climate change policies and actions
* This will be relevant not just to those working in environmental or sustainability units, but also those in social welfare, housing, healthcare and community engagement. Local authorities at all scales are implicated; but especially those in urban areas and those with flood management and/or coastal management responsibilities.

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

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  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.