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imageEnfield Council's draft Climate Action Plan was published in mid-March. It outlines measures designed to meet the pledge made by Enfield's cabinet members in July 2018, when they undertook to:

  • Make Enfield Council a carbon neutral organisation by 2030s
  • Divest the Council from investments in fossil fuel companies
  • Only use environmentally friendly products where we are able to do so
  • Make our supply chain carbon neutral through ethical procurement
  • Work with local communities and positively promote changing behaviours in Enfield to limit activities scientifically linked to climate change

Enfield Council's baseline (ie current) emissions have been calculated to total 21,907 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per annum. As well as emission produced directly by the council's activities, this includes an estimate of the emissions from sources that the council does not own or control, eg emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste and water and energy used by residents in council homes.

This is the total that the council has pledged to reduce to "net zero" by 2030. But it is only 11 per cent of the total 1,125,00tCO2e annual carbon emissions produced borough-wide - and these too need to be eliminated in order to prevent, or at least reduce, the scale of climate change disaster. While the council can't directly control the emissions produced by businesses and private citizens, it can influence them, for instance through its policies on buildings standards and by taking measures to encourage modal shift in transport.

Because of the coronavirus emergency, much less attention has been given to the climate action plan than it deserves, and meetings to discuss it have all been cancelled. I was planning to write a longish piece about the plan and how it could be improved and hoped that more suggestions would emerge in the forums. However, my attention too has been diverted, to the extent that this is the first time I've even mentioned the draft plan, only a few days before the deadline for feedback on the plan, which remains 19th April.

Obviously, the priority at the moment is countering the immediate danger to lives and livelihoods, but the threat of climate change is no longer long-term, but gets closer by the day. It's important that the council's plan is properly scrutinised and that suggestions from outside the council are incorporated. So I strongly urge the council to set a new deadline for comments.

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Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #5319 16 Apr 2020 09:50
Just picking up the numbers in Basil’s piece: Councils own CO2e emissions 21,907 tpa, borough total CO2e emissions 1,125,000 tpa. The council therefore generates roughly 2% of the overall borough total. A subsequent phase to the plan whereby the council supports reductions in the wider borough becomes crucial.
Now look further at the 1,125,000 ktpa total borough output and then sit that alongside the estimated 700,000 ktpa from the new Edmonton incinerator. It’s not hard to see that it is going to completely and utterly dwarf everything else, and with no likelihood of it ever reducing for 50 years, will make the probability of Enfield residents and businesses thinking, “why bother” that much greater.

The report claim the spin off power from this planned plant is “low carbon”. A university specialist brought in to present to Haringay Council at the time of the waste authorities last exercise, showed that the resultant power derived from black bin waste was the most carbon intensive of any fuel known to man. It’s not clear what has changed. I have raised this matter with LBE in my own consultation response. Using a simpler test, does anyone consider the contents of their black bin and that thrown in the “general” at Barrowel Green to have much likelihood of being “low carbon”?