Helping Islington meet carbon-cutting targets

Producing a study for a London borough’s emissions-reduction programme

Project duration: January 2006 to June 2010

In 2006, the London Borough of Islington adopted a carbon-reduction target as part of their Local Area Agreement (LAA: the formal set of priorities for a local area agreed between central government and the local authority, the Local Strategic Partnership and other key partners).

They pledged that by 2010, the amount of carbon attributable to the borough’s energy use would be cut by 5%, relative to 2005.

And to give the policy some teeth and demonstrate commitment, the Islington Strategic Partnership established an Islington Climate Change Partnership (ICCP), made up of locally based businesses and organisations, to oversee and coordinate carbon-cutting efforts in the borough. They also appointed the Centre for Sustainable Energy to carry out a baseline study of the borough’s current energy use.

The baseline study had several aims:

  • To collect data on the energy use of the 22 members of the partnership
  • To assess the opportunities that Islington council had to reduce carbon emissions, using the Local Carbon Management Matrix
  • Assessed the likely reductions in carbon emissions that would result from national policy

The study quantified the reductions that would have to be made in different areas of council operations in order to meet the 5% LAA reduction. A further target was set for the Islington Climate Change Partnership itself (as opposed to residents and businesses in the borough), amounting to a cut in emissions of 18,750 tonnes of CO2 by 2010 - equal to 1.76% of the borough’s 2006 emission and being equivalent to over a third of the reduction needed to meet the LAA target.

In addition two stakeholder workshops were undertaken with partnership members. The first of these introduced the data gathering process and secured members’ commitment to the partnership, while the second presented the results of the data collection and looked at different carbon reduction measures available to partnership members and their payback periods.

CSE continued to support the Islington Climate Change Partnership through annual monitoring of partnership members’ 2007 and 2008 carbon emissions (carried out in 2008 and 2009 respectively, to allow time for partnership members to collect data on a full calendar year). It was found that in 2007 the partnership as a whole had made emissions reductions of 7.33%. In 2008, the weather was considerably colder which meant that during 2007-08 emissions had increased; however, partnership emissions were still 6.4% lower than the baseline.

The two monitoring studies also provided information to individual partnership members on their progress to date at an individual site level, analysed changes in emissions among different sub-groups of partnership members, and gave recommendations for maintaining progress.

The baseline study for Islington Borough Council can be found here.

Beyond 2010

The London Borough of Islington again joined forces with the Centre for Sustainable Energy to review targets, strategies and actions and set out clear plans to achieve cuts by 2020 and up to 2050.

CSE developed a carbon emission model for the area, reviewed local opportunities to cut emissions, and set up a monitoring tool to allow the council to track actions in the Borough and anticipate impacts on future carbon emissions.

Also, significantly, CSE aided a review of council policies to help identify further opportunities and priorities for the council to influence change by others; from householders and communities to businesses and other public sector organisations.

CSE carried out this latest project in partnership with Dr Joanne Wade, an independent consultant with extensive knowledge and experience of local authority carbon reduction activity.

Image: ceridwen, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence

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