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Friends of the Earth Pathways to 40%

The Friends of the Earth ‘Get Serious' Campaign focuses on the role of Local Authorities in reducing carbon emissions. At local level the key campaign ask is for LAs to commit to reductions of 40% based on 2005/06 levels by 2020.  

Carbon Descent was commissioned by Friends of the Earth to deliver evidence-based scenarios for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 40% (relative to 2006 emissions) by 2020 across a representative range of local authorities in England, using our carbon reduction planning software VantagePoint.

VantagePoint, was used to model carbon-reduction scenarios for the county of Hampshire (excluding Southampton and Portsmouth), the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and the unitary authority of Middlesbrough.  Carbon-reduction measures relating to the three sectors of housing, decentralised energy supply and transport were modelled as separate scenarios (non-domestic energy efficiency and non-domestic renewable energy were not prioritised for inclusion because they were considered less susceptible to local authority influence). 

Selected measures from these individual scenarios were then taken to form a combined scenario for each authority covering the energy system at the local level.  We assessed the measures that would be required above reductions that are likely to be achieved through national policy to achieve such emissions cuts in an inner city borough, a unitary authority and a rural county.

The resulting report demonstrated that each of the three local authorities can meet the 40% reduction target by 2020 through aggressive, yet realistic, action and investment across the three identified policy areas. 

The different characteristics of each authority meant that different measures are appropriate in each case, and the economic performance of the three scenarios varied correspondingly.  Domestic microgeneration technologies were generally found to perform negatively in economic terms out to 2030, as measured by net present values (NPVs).  The relatively large application of domestic microgeneration for Hampshire was a major cause of Hampshire’s negative overall NPV in 2030, which contrasted with positive NPVs for Tower Hamlets and Middlesbrough (whose scenarios used less or no domesticmicrogeneration, respectively).  The report indicated, however, that the advent of Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) in 2010 and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2011 could significantly change the economic performance of domestic microgenerators and other eligible technologies.

This research was used to back up Friends of the Earth's national ‘Get Serious' campaign and the report is available from their website.

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