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Climate Change The role of Local Authorities A UK Perspective Simon Mills Head of Sustainable Development for the City of London and LRAP Programme Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change The role of Local Authorities A UK Perspective Simon Mills Head of Sustainable Development for the City of London and LRAP Programme Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change The role of Local Authorities A UK Perspective Simon Mills Head of Sustainable Development for the City of London and LRAP Programme Manager Government Office for London

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3 Provides local government for the Square Mile Provides local government for the Square Mile Provides a host of services for both the square mile and greater London Provides a host of services for both the square mile and greater London Oldest democratic institution in the world Oldest democratic institution in the world Has been active in tackling climate change since 1995 Has been active in tackling climate change since 1995 The City of London Corporation The City of London Worlds leading international financial centre Worlds leading international financial centre Produces 20% of Londons GDP and approximately 6% of UK GDP Produces 20% of Londons GDP and approximately 6% of UK GDP

4 Traditional Curse May you live in interesting times May you live in interesting times May you come to the attention of those in authority May you come to the attention of those in authority May you find what you are looking for May you find what you are looking for

5 Part 1. Interesting times

6 Current knowledge - there is unequivocal evidence linking greenhouse gas concentrations to global mean temperatures. there is unequivocal evidence linking greenhouse gas concentrations to global mean temperatures. there is unequivocal evidence that climatic systems are driven by thermal energy. there is unequivocal evidence that climatic systems are driven by thermal energy. Atmospheric CO 2 rising at 2ppm per year Atmospheric CO 2 rising at 2ppm per year CO 2 as of January 2009 are 386pmm CO 2 as of January 2009 are 386pmm Once CO 2 reaches 400ppm a 2 o c rise in global mean temperature is inevitable. Once CO 2 reaches 400ppm a 2 o c rise in global mean temperature is inevitable.

7 2 o c means- Economic impacts- supply chain disruption, resource shortages, damage to physical assets and infrastructure, regulatory and fiscal riskEconomic impacts- supply chain disruption, resource shortages, damage to physical assets and infrastructure, regulatory and fiscal risk Social impacts- public health, mortality and morbidity, increased commodity prices, population migration, crime and anti-social behaviourSocial impacts- public health, mortality and morbidity, increased commodity prices, population migration, crime and anti-social behaviour Environmental impacts- biodiversity loss, smog, waste management, pressure on water resources, loss of farm land and costal erosionEnvironmental impacts- biodiversity loss, smog, waste management, pressure on water resources, loss of farm land and costal erosion

8 Part 2. Coming to the attention of people in authority

9 The UK Government states that climate change is the greatest long-term challenge facing the world today Policy driven by scientific evidence Policy driven by scientific evidence High level of public awareness and support High level of public awareness and support Crosses party political boundaries Crosses party political boundaries Struggle for centre ground means the environment is a vote winner Struggle for centre ground means the environment is a vote winner

10 Policy Initiatives Climate Change Act 2008…. Climate Change Act 2008…. Statutory national targets for emissions reduction- 80% by Mandatory Adaptation- Public bodies must carry out risk assessment and make plans to address those risks. Other policy initiatives Other policy initiatives Climate Change Levy Renewables Obligation Energy Efficiency Commitment Changes to planning guidance and building regulations Carbon Trading Carbon Reduction Commitment

11 UK Public Sector Response Two primary drivers for action on climate change by Local Authorities in the UK- Legislation and guidance for spatial planning and building standards Legislation and guidance for spatial planning and building standards Performance management and Government targets Performance management and Government targets

12 Spatial Planning- Regional Planning Policy Statements (PPS) set out the Governments national policies. Local Planning Policies must conform with this guidance. Local Authorities must- – consider how the regions activities contribute to climate change; – consider how the spatial planning will support targets on climate change – consider the regions vulnerability to climate change specifically the implications for infrastructure & services

13 Spatial Planning- Local Local Authorities must encourage renewable and low-carbon energy generation. They must also consider the vulnerability development to flooding and other climate related impacts. In consider individual sites for development they must – –Consider whether there is a access to service the site through sustainable transport; – –Consider the capacity to cut carbon dioxide emissions and successfully adapt to likely climate change

14 Building Control Part L of the Building Regulations has brought in some of the toughest energy regulations ever seen in the UK Part L of the Building Regulations has brought in some of the toughest energy regulations ever seen in the UK The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires public and commercial buildings to display their energy rating in the lobby. The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires public and commercial buildings to display their energy rating in the lobby. the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) will apply mandatory emissions trading to large commercial and public sector organisations. the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) will apply mandatory emissions trading to large commercial and public sector organisations. Buliding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Matrix (BREEAM) Guidelines are to be revised to enhance excellent performance ratings Buliding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Matrix (BREEAM) Guidelines are to be revised to enhance excellent performance ratings

15 Performance Management Local Government in the UK has been forged in the fires of 3 decades of performance management and control from central government. Local Government in the UK has been forged in the fires of 3 decades of performance management and control from central government. Councils are regularly inspected by auditors from the audit commission who determine whether; - they are using public money effectively - they are meeting the needs of their local people - they are conforming with government policy. Councils are regularly inspected by auditors from the audit commission who determine whether; - they are using public money effectively - they are meeting the needs of their local people - they are conforming with government policy. There are financial (and political) penalties for Councils who are failing to perform There are financial (and political) penalties for Councils who are failing to perform

16 National Indicators New performance management regime brought in in Comprehensive Area Assessment New performance management regime brought in in Comprehensive Area Assessment CAA will focus on: CAA will focus on: - joint working between councils and their partners in delivering the areas priorities, - joint working between councils and their partners in delivering the areas priorities, - how the quality of peoples lives is improved - how the quality of peoples lives is improved Councils report against a set of national indicators. Councils select a basket of 35 indicators from a list of 200. They will only be assessed on 35 but have to collect data (and report) against all of them. Councils report against a set of national indicators. Councils select a basket of 35 indicators from a list of 200. They will only be assessed on 35 but have to collect data (and report) against all of them.

17 National Indicators for Climate change NI 185 CO2 reduction from Local Authority Operations NI 185 CO2 reduction from Local Authority Operations NI186 Per capita reductions in CO2 in the Local Authority Area NI186 Per capita reductions in CO2 in the Local Authority Area NI187 Tackling Fuel Poverty NI187 Tackling Fuel Poverty NI188 Planning to Adapt to Climate Change NI188 Planning to Adapt to Climate Change NI 189 Flood and coastal erosion risk management NI 189 Flood and coastal erosion risk management All local authorities have to report their performance on these indicators

18 Case Study- The City of London City of London Corporation considered a Beacon of Best Practice City of London Corporation considered a Beacon of Best Practice Elected member led Energy Committee since Elected member led Energy Committee since Dedicated Energy Team since Dedicated Energy Team since Reporting on Carbon-Dioxide emissions since 1995 Reporting on Carbon-Dioxide emissions since 1995 The first Local Authority to be Carbon Trust Standard accredited in 2008 The first Local Authority to be Carbon Trust Standard accredited in 2008 First Local Authority in the world to develop a climate change adaptation strategy. First Local Authority in the world to develop a climate change adaptation strategy.

19 Mitigation Two elements to City of London Programme Internal action- energy management Internal action- energy management External action- assisting stakeholders to reduce emissions External action- assisting stakeholders to reduce emissions Both rely on accurate data- Carbon footprint for organisation published 2008 Carbon footprint for organisation published 2008 Carbon footprint for the whole City published 2009 Carbon footprint for the whole City published 2009

20 Internal Action Commitment Top Management Support Delivery Mechanism Monitoring and Reporting Energy Management Framework

21 The Corporations Commitment to Energy is contained within key documents The Corporations Commitment to Energy is contained within key documents Top Management Support is provided by the Corporations Energy Working Party of Members. Top Management Support is provided by the Corporations Energy Working Party of Members. The Delivery Mechanism for Energy Management is contained within the Energy Teams terms of reference and Local Delivery is supported by voluntary Energy Wardens The Delivery Mechanism for Energy Management is contained within the Energy Teams terms of reference and Local Delivery is supported by voluntary Energy Wardens Monitoring the effectiveness of the Corporations Policy is achieved by annual reporting to committee on spending, energy usage and CO2 emissions. Monitoring the effectiveness of the Corporations Policy is achieved by annual reporting to committee on spending, energy usage and CO2 emissions. Practical Delivery

22 External Action Stakeholder engagement and training- Stakeholder engagement and training- - Eco-teams for residents - Events and training days for businesses City Climate Pledge City Climate Pledge Sustainable City Awards Sustainable City Awards Engagement with financial services sector Engagement with financial services sector

23 Practical delivery Customer demand is pushing up standards in buildings Customer demand is pushing up standards in buildings Some companies are retrofitting existing buildings to enhance performance. Some companies are retrofitting existing buildings to enhance performance. Some landmark developments (both commercial and residential) have been built or are at the planning phase. Some landmark developments (both commercial and residential) have been built or are at the planning phase. Increase in interest in on-site renewables Increase in interest in on-site renewables Businesses are taking carbon management seriously Businesses are taking carbon management seriously Residents are looking to do their bit Residents are looking to do their bit Carbon Markets still fastest growing sector of City Economy Carbon Markets still fastest growing sector of City Economy Analysts starting to look for carbon exposure in portfolios Analysts starting to look for carbon exposure in portfolios New technologies present new business opportunities New technologies present new business opportunities

24 Part 3. May you get what you wish for

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26 Important issue because….. Adaptation is crucial as climate change will constrain future development paths Adaptation is crucial as climate change will constrain future development paths It is a duty of care for the public sector It is a duty of care for the public sector Current window of opportunity before worst impacts hit Current window of opportunity before worst impacts hit

27 Reasons for slow response Fear that addressing adaptation issues is a tacit admission of defeat. In other words climate change is beating us Fear that addressing adaptation issues is a tacit admission of defeat. In other words climate change is beating us Fear that addressing adaptation will draw attention away from cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Fear that addressing adaptation will draw attention away from cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation is perceived as difficult, due to the uncertainty in predicting precisely what the local impacts of climate change will be. Adaptation is perceived as difficult, due to the uncertainty in predicting precisely what the local impacts of climate change will be. Adaptation is seen as potentially expensive, and some business leaders are reluctant to invest in areas which will not yield a return for decades. Adaptation is seen as potentially expensive, and some business leaders are reluctant to invest in areas which will not yield a return for decades.

28 Government Response New duty of care in the Climate Change Act New duty of care in the Climate Change Act New Climate Change Committee established by Government New Climate Change Committee established by Government National networks set up – Local Climate Change Partnerships and Local and Regional Adaptation Board National networks set up – Local Climate Change Partnerships and Local and Regional Adaptation Board New national indicator NI 188 New national indicator NI 188 New requirement for Local Authorities to conduct Strategic Flood Risk Assessments New requirement for Local Authorities to conduct Strategic Flood Risk Assessments UK Climate Impact Programme producing scenarios for local climate impacts UK Climate Impact Programme producing scenarios for local climate impacts Environment Agency examining coastal erosion and flooding. Environment Agency examining coastal erosion and flooding.

29 Actions to climate-proof the City of London The City of Londons climate adaptation strategy May 2007 City of London Response

30 Development of the Strategy Need for strategy to be- Based on firm scientific principles, Based on firm scientific principles, Developed in consultation with businesses, residents, service providers and other stakeholders. Developed in consultation with businesses, residents, service providers and other stakeholders. Risk Management, Resilience and business continuity focussed Risk Management, Resilience and business continuity focussed

31 Adaptation Options No-regrets measures, delivering benefits that exceed their costs, whatever the extent of climate change, No-regrets measures, delivering benefits that exceed their costs, whatever the extent of climate change, Low-regrets measures which are are low cost, and have potentially large benefits under climate change, Low-regrets measures which are are low cost, and have potentially large benefits under climate change, Win-win measures which contribute to climate adaptation and also deliver other benefits, Win-win measures which contribute to climate adaptation and also deliver other benefits, Flexible measures which are useful for dealing with uncertainties in the extent of longer-term climate change. Flexible measures which are useful for dealing with uncertainties in the extent of longer-term climate change.

32 Adaptation Actions Install sustainable drainage systems and green roofs in targeted flash flood hotspots as part of new developments, redevelopments or major refurbishments. Install sustainable drainage systems and green roofs in targeted flash flood hotspots as part of new developments, redevelopments or major refurbishments. Review property portfolio to analyse subsidence and flooding risk Review property portfolio to analyse subsidence and flooding risk Develop a contingency plan for vital City functions in times of extreme drought. Develop a contingency plan for vital City functions in times of extreme drought. Develop a local heatwave plan including actions to manage air pollution as high levels often coincide with heatwaves. Develop a local heatwave plan including actions to manage air pollution as high levels often coincide with heatwaves. Provide cool refuges (such as air-conditioned public buildings) for vulnerable people during heatwaves. Provide cool refuges (such as air-conditioned public buildings) for vulnerable people during heatwaves. Work with Transport for London and tube companies to install electronic displays outside tube stations, showing underground temperatures. Work with Transport for London and tube companies to install electronic displays outside tube stations, showing underground temperatures. Analyse the relationship between weather conditions and fire risk in open spaces and parks. Analyse the relationship between weather conditions and fire risk in open spaces and parks. Advise outdoor staff on sun safety. Advise outdoor staff on sun safety.

33 CONCLUSION We are lucky enough to live at a unique moment in time- we know enough to be worried about climate change, but we still have the time and the technology to do something about it.……. Our children and our grandchildren will have to live with the consequences of our decisions. Lets make sure they have cause to thank, rather than curse us.


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