Presentation on theme: "Policy related outputs from GILDED: the Aberdeen City and Shire context Keith Marshall."— Presentation transcript:
Policy related outputs from GILDED: the Aberdeen City and Shire context Keith Marshall
Firstly, some recent European findings… Eurobarometer Climate change poll (June 2011), found that the European public is more concerned about climate change than it was in 2009 – and that climate change remains a greater worry than the economic situation… The survey also reports an expectation across the 27 member states that the EU will become a climate-friendly, low-carbon society by the middle of this century…
EU context continued… A key driver for this transition will be energy efficiency. By 2050, the energy sector, households and business could reduce their energy consumption by around 30% compared to 2005, while enjoying more and better energy services at the same time. However - tackling climate change was seen primarily as the responsibility of national governments, the EU and business. Only 21% considered they had a personal responsibility, but a further 23% spontaneously suggested that all actors, including themselves, shared a collective responsibility. (Does this mean that 56% accepted no responsibility?!)
Mechanisms to achieve goals Policy should involve a tailored mix of regulation, pricing mechanisms, and support education (inc. labelling), technological improvement, and collective action. This study shows that local and national policies should where possible emphasise the benefits (e.g. societal, financial, wellbeing, etc.) of environmentally sustainable behaviour, and not allow debate (media?) to focus on restrictive measures. CO2 reduction policies need to work with other policies (noticeably development planning, transport strategy and fuel poverty in NE Scotland) to realise benefits.
Scottish context: Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 Report & 2010 Public Engagement Strategy HECA: continue and develop policies relevant to households, with over three-quarters of Local Authorities committed to tackling fuel poverty and targeting help vulnerable households – Scottish Government Public Engagement Strategy (under Climate Change Scotland Act, 2009) Focus on Energy, Transport and Food Communicate with business, communities, education system, unions, etc.
Our survey of governance and infrastructure, in Aberdeen City and Shire 6 Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), established 2001 by both councils and now involving ten local councils, helps coordinate renewable energy initiatives in North-east Scotland. Rural residents mostly cannot use efficient mains gas boilers; woodfuel is seen as an important renewable source by Aberdeenshire council. Existing private sector housing stock is hard to improve However, under HECA Aberdeen Council has undertaken a considerable improvement in its own housing stock Many residential areas are not located close to areas providing employment, increasing daily travel
General transport related findings Reducing the reliance of rural households on private transport is difficult without refocusing investment on low GHG infrastructure (e.g. electric trains, broadband). Urban populations can be more accepting of public transport because for them it can provide a realistic alternative to private cars. Changing behaviour in relation to transport depends long term national investment in infrastructure and be connected to alternative lifestyle options.
The Aberdeenshire Local Transport (LTS)Strategy The LTS aims to encourage individuals and businesses to consider ways to travel less, travel more actively and, where vehicular travel is necessary, how journeys could be made more effectively e.g.: Travel awareness 24 Actions Walking 7 Actions Cycling and Motorcycling 15 Actions Public Transport 24 Actions Freight 28 Actions Local Network Management and Maintenance 16 Actions External Links 9 Actions
LTS and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route “Measures that preserve, or “lock-in” the congestion, pollution and journey time benefits of the new road are needed”. “This can be achieved by using available road capacity to provide additional priority to sustainable modes of transport.” Councils need to be visibly taking a lead in creating a sustainable transport strategy…
General findings relating to leadership National governments and industry leaders need to implement tangible GHG reduction practices if calls for the public to do so are not to be rejected as hypocritical. Policymakers and local authorities should draw attention to those business role models which can demonstrate continued or enhanced profits following efforts to reduce GHG emissions.
Translating directives into locally applicable actions National and regional level policies and strategies need to provide local authorities, third sector parties etc., with a clear and consistent framework to aid implementation of practical measures to counteract household greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore any framework proposed by the EU must be flexible enough to allow national policy to be tailored to context and be compatible with appropriate governance structures. The need for such flexibility in implementation and consistency in message applies at the local level as well.
Discussion points Do you agree that influencing household energy behaviour through information provision alone is an ineffective way of reducing carbon emissions? What do you perceive as having changed in the past couple of years as a result of e.g.: increased numbers of windfarms, Fukishima, climate change media messages, reduction in public funding, Climate Challenge Fund efforts etc.? Given our findings, and your experience, how might we go about implementing a CO2 reduction initiative for two communities (urban and rural)?