The RBWM are looking for all residents to offer feedback on the Environment and Climate Change Strategy Consultation which closes on Tuesday 29th September 2020. All the contributions will be compiled and considered by the RBWM and elements go forward to the final environment and climate change strategy doc.
I thought it might help to share my own thoughts process so you know you don’t have to deal with the whole thing, just the aspects that interest you and offer your input over the next few days.
The report states 33% of the carbon pollution is down to vehicles (not clear if talking cars or all vehicles) and 38% is elec, gas and other fuels for domestic services…
In section 2.8 The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recommends that Local Authorities exclude emission sources which are not controlled at a local level.
Emissions from the following are therefore excluded;
• EU Emissions Trading Systems Sites
• Diesel Railways
• Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (which encompasses emissions relating to agriculture and de/reforestation)
So does that mean we ignore all the pollution from the M4, M25, M3 which circle the town… that makes no sense to me… what else gets conveniently ignored?
The EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is the world’s first major carbon market and remains the biggest one.
It covers around 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2) from:
• power and heat generation
• energy-intensive industry sectors including oil refineries, steel works and production of iron, aluminium, metals, cement, lime, glass, ceramics, pulp, paper, cardboard, acids and bulk organic chemicals
• commercial aviation
Have I got this right, we ignore planes, trains but include some automobiles… are they part of this eco-system or just another reality ignored for the benefit of adding this all up to zero?
Surely the best way to get to net zero carbon is simply to work out ways to stop creating carbon emissions?
There is a big emphasis on waste, even though it is only 4% of the problem but we saw how, as soon as the bi-weekly collections were challenged and public attention was drawn, fear of election votes, rather than the zero carbon agenda, took dominance and the policy was quickly changed back which led to many more problems!
If that kind of leadership is consistent moving forward then a true net zero by 2050 will never happen.
The vision for the report’s Utopian future seems to focus on technological advancement which I feel is very questionable given the state of the economy and I struggle to see how focusing on technology which needs to be plugged in and therefore produces millions kt of CO2 is going to do anything to help reduce carbon?
What thought has been given to the effects of climate change on the current infrastructure? The council can’t even fund the necessary flood protections in Wraysbury, never mind start thinking about the existing infrastructure and how rising sea levels will impact the current antiquated road systems. (Header image shows potential impact of a 1m rise in sea level.)
I think all we can do, as individuals, is our best and take logical, sensible actions until such time as those in power actually take this problem seriously. Things like:
• Recycle as much as possible
• Walk to local shops
• Support Zero Joe’s
• Purchase local produce with minimal packaging
• If you see an opportunity for improvement, mention it to those who can take action. If council related, email your Councillor.
Personally I believe hydrogen to be a better way forward than electric but that only works, as I see it, if you are serious about addressing climate change and don’t have other commercial agendas in play.