11 March 2007
Green Party Councillors send their 10-point challenge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Camden to the new Council Executive.
At the local elections, Camden Green Party candidates pledged to make Camden the flagship borough on climate change, and Green councillors are now concerned that the Council's 2006/07 Corporate Plan leaves climate change looking like an afterthought.
In the list of 8 priorities, the plan mentions “a stronger environmental emphasis with enhanced recycling”. Greens are concerned that the most pressing environmental task will be sidelined – maybe even more so than under the Labour administration which did at least produce a climate change plan.
The new Lib-Dem/Tory Partnership Administration has made some good plans for some aspects of the environment. It has appointed an eco-champion and it will be setting up a Sustainable Taskforce. Camden 's Green Party Councillors, Adrian Oliver and Maya de Souza, congratulate them on this initiative and will take up the invitation to join the taskforce.
However, Green Party councillors have today written to the leading group with their 10 point plan on climate change, challenging them to show their commitment to immediate action to reduce Camden 's carbon dioxide emissions.
They point out that the Labour Council made progress on reducing emissions from transport and, though progress in this area must continue, it is time to shift Camden 's focus to homes and other buildings. Forty per cent of Camden 's carbon emissions come from the domestic housing sector and 50% from the commercial built environment.
Councillor Maya de Souza says “Urgent action is required on climate change. Remarkable carbon emission reductions are possible through the use of renewable technologies and energy conservation measures, and Camden has the potential to lead the way in the UK in this field, with its huge pool of architects, designers and committed environmentalists.
“What we need is the political will to make this change, and the harnessing of this talent and commitment. Today we lay down a blueprint for immediate action on climate change and ask the leading LibDem-Tory group to take up this challenge and show us that they are serious about tackling climate change”.
The Green Party's blueprint requires Camden to do the following.
1. Set realistic but ambitious targets and focus on the areas of high CO2 emissions – homes and the built environment .
2. Empower households by giving them information and measures they can easily achieve- and work with the Local Agenda 21 group in doing this.
3. Introduce new, more effective means of achieving greater energy efficiency in homes, to include using show eco-homes from different historical eras. This will tap into current interests in renovation and refurbishment.
4. Increase energy-efficiency in public and private sector buildings, and begin a drive for energy-efficiency and conservation in office and retail sectors.
5. Require high standards of building design through the planning process.
6. Set and enforce targets for renewable energy generation in new buildings through the planning process, and set higher targets for public sector buildings .
7. Buy 100% of Camden 's electricity from renewable sources within two years.
8. Use Combined Heat and Power installations and District Heating where possible.
9. Cut down on the production of methane by encouraging home and community composting and community garden schemes.
10. Request high producers of carbon to off-set their carbon emissions by investing in schemes like solar power in India , to ensure that people in developing countries can also benefit from clean and cheap energy uses.