London at night Wikimedia Commons
Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Wolverhampton are leading the way when it comes to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) from Oxford Brookes University.
Carbon emissions for the UK’s top 20 cities fell by 12.5% between 2005 and 2009. However, behind the national figure, there were big variations amongst urban areas, whilst other cities such as Bristol, Plymouth, Cardiff and Glasgow have also developed high level strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
The comprehensive snapshot of carbon emissions strategies in UK cities, which is based on an extensive survey and detailed analysis, has been drawn up by Professor Tim Dixon, Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) based at Oxford Brookes.
'Hotting Up? An Analysis of Low Carbon Plans and Strategies for UK Cities' takes a look at 60 UK cities to find out how successfully they are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
The best performing cities in terms of overall carbon emissions reductions were Stoke, Coventry and Wolverhampton.
The worst performing cities in terms of overall reduction in carbon emission reductions were Belfast, Greater London, and Edinburgh. Giving an overview of how cities are faring, Professor Dixon examined why some are performing better than others and looked at major barriers that could prevent cities reaching national 2050 emissions targets.
Nationally, the 2008 Climate Change Act set legally binding targets on CO2 emissions of 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
However, Professor Dixon discovered just seven UK cities have 2050 targets in place.
The UK is a heavily urbanised country. About 90% of the population live in urban areas and some 80% of carbon emissions are created locally in the UK so local authorities based in cities could be big players in creating a step change in the way we occupy and use our built environment.
Professor Dixon drew up a list of recommendations for central and local government based on his research into best practice.
He commented: "The battle against climate change and resource depletion will be won or lost in the world's cities. Looking at the UK and internationally, the cities that are succeeding with their low carbon plans are those that set ambitious targets, place them in an integrated low carbon and climate change framework, have innovative financing in place, and use partnerships creatively.
“But UK cities and government still need to do much more to work together in developing and transitioning to a low carbon future by 2050 and we can certainly also learn from best practice in cities such as Vancouver, Copenhagen and Stockholm."
Adrian Gault, Chief Economist, Committee on Climate Change said: "Hotting Up' provides a very useful stocktake of climate change commitments and action to date across UK cities. It emphasises the important contribution local authorities can make in meeting national carbon targets, which we will further examine in our forthcoming advice to Government."
CO2 emission reductions for the UKs top 20 cities:
|CITY||% REDUCTION||% REDUCTION|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||-12||-16|
The report is available at: www.rics.org/site/scripts/download_info.aspx?downloadID=8537
Notes to Editors:
- Set in a historic student city, Oxford Brookes is one of the UK's leading modern universities and enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation as well as strong links with business and industry.
- More information is available on the Oxford Brookes website at www.brookes.ac.uk
- Latest news and information on Oxford Brookes can also be found through Twitter on www.twitter.com/oxford_brookes, via Facebook at www.facebook.com/oxfordbrookes and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/oxfordbrookes Sign up today for the latest information.
- For more information on the report, or to speak with Professor Tim Dixon, please contact the Ed Reed in the Oxford Brookes University Press office on 01865 484454 or email@example.com
News Item Dated:
27 March 2012
The report is available to download at www.rics.org/site/scripts/download_info
Belfast is UK's least energy efficient city BBC News Northern Ireland 27/03/12