Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Haringey Council's carbon emission targets

It's easy to find stuff about Haringey Council's aspirations to be the 'greenest borough', and even to find the specifics about its plans and targets to reduce its own emissions.

It's much harder to find out specific information about what the baseline is for these reduction targets. I searched for ages, to no avail. Now, a cynical person might think that baseline was being kept from us, so that the council can claim progress secure in the knowledge that no-one will be in a position to dispute this.

For once, the cynical person would be wrong. After some courteous correspondence with Councillor Joe Goldberg, I was provided with the specific data that I wanted. In fact, the baseline and the progress against it show the Council in rather a good light. In 2006-7, which is the baseline year, Haringey Council's NI 185 emissions - that is emissions from its own operations - were 44,790 tonnes. For real emissions anoraks, this is a 'weather corrected' figure. In 2007-8 they were 44,616 tonnes, a fall of 0.39%, but in 2008-9 they were 42,631 tonnes - a reduction of 4.82%. The comparable figure for 2009-10 is 41,894 - 6.47% below the baseline.

It would be nice to get some more detail about where the emissions are coming from, and where the gains were being made - but at least there are real reductions being delivered.

So why doesn't Haringey make more fuss about its genuine progress? In the 1980s the GLC had a big signboard outside County Hall, showing the number of people unemployed in London. Why doesn't Haringey have an emissions board outside the Civic Centre?

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