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Scoping Strategy for Climate Change

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					                                                                Broads Forum
                                                                26 September 2008
                                                                Agenda Item No 9

                       Scoping Strategy for Climate Change
           Report by Director of Conservation and Countryside Management


Summary:        This report recaps on the reasons why the Broads Authority wanted to
                consider the need for a carbon footprint and reduction plan for the
                area. The first phase in this work was to scope out the possible extent
                of the work and to identify what data was appropriate and accessible.
                The scoping study, commissioned using the Broads Sustainable
                Development Fund, suggests a structure to follow that covers three
                levels – an audit of the Broads Authority’s own work; the carbon
                emissions for the ‘services’ supplied by the Broads area and the
                elements generic to most parts of the country; and the generalised
                emissions from a wider area to put it into context. The likely next steps
                are shown for comment from the Forum.

1       Introduction

1.1     In 1990 the world’s political leaders got together to discuss the threat of
        climate change caused by human activity. The outcome of this was the Kyoto
        Protocol, which commits its signatories to reductions in greenhouse gases.

1.2     The UK has been at the forefront of leading this process and is committed to a
        first step in reducing emissions of our principal greenhouse gas, Carbon
        Dioxide (CO2), by 12% by 2012 from a 1990 level.

1.3     In February 2003 the UK government went a step further, recognising the
        need for much deeper cuts in carbon emissions if we are going to prevent the
        very worst effects of climate change. The government aspiration is for a 60%
        cut in Carbon emissions by 2050. This is “The 60% Challenge”.

1.4     The Broads Authority has an overall ambition to manage the Broads in a
        sustainable way. This is an area that is particularly vulnerable to impacts
        created by climate change and it will therefore be important to develop
        approaches to its management that mitigate and adapt to these impacts. In
        order to achieve this ambition and tackle the issues of climate change for the
        benefit of the Broads community as a whole, there is a clear need to develop
        a carbon management strategy that accounts for current emissions from the
        various sources, identifying where appropriate the scope for any reductions.

1.5     Undertaking a carbon footprint study is a necessary first step in the
        development of any carbon management strategy. It provides the information
        on the source and nature of emissions and thus provides the basis for making
        decisions on how best to reduce carbon emissions and how to encourage
        individuals, community groups land managers and businesses to co-operate
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        in developing practical, sustainable and local projects to reduce their carbon
        emissions.

1.6     The creation of a carbon footprint for the Broads Authority area is potentially
        complex, requiring not only the identification and quantification of emissions
        from various sources but also identifying the relevant spatial area to address
        and providing information at a level of detail that is sufficient to both identify
        optimum investment in mitigation measures and ultimately to monitor the
        effectiveness of these measures. To address these complexities the Authority
        is taking a two phased approach to the project. Phase 1 consists of an initial
        scoping exercise that seeks to establish the requirements and boundaries of
        the full carbon foot-printing exercise that will comprise Phase 2.

1.7     CRed, the Community Carbon Reduction Project based at UEA, was engaged
        to undertake this scoping study and have now submitted their report.

2       Suggested Structure for the Carbon Footprint Report

2.1     The study represents a scoping of the issues and obstacles and suggestions
        for delivering a useful and robust carbon audit of the broads for application to
        strategic efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

2.2     The study has proposed an overarching structure for the audit that, once
        developed fully, will provide a robust means of:

              cataloguing, analysing and ongoing monitoring of emissions and removals
               intimately connected with the Broads, the ‘services’ it provides, and the
               use and maintenance of these ‘services’;
              setting these in the context of all emissions within the Broads Area (and
               beyond);
              identifying options for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (or
               maximising/increasing carbon removals);
              appraising carbon reduction options (on the basis of effectiveness and
               cost) and the implications of any other operational, management or policy
               changes from the perspective of GHG emissions;
              calculating the net GHG emissions/removals for the ‘Broads’ as a whole
               with a view to identifying what level of (net) emission reduction would be
               required to achieve ‘carbon neutrality’ in the delivery of the ‘services’ that
               the Broads provides as a whole.

2.3     The proposed structure reflects the differing responsibilities and spheres of
        influence of the BA compared with other Authorities and actors in the area by
        making a simple distinction between:

        (i)       those emissions that are connected with the ‘services’ that the broads
                  provides (whether or not they occur within the Broads Area); and

        (ii)      those that are not (or are only distantly connected).

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2.4     It is proposed that greater levels of detail be provided for areas and emissions
        connected with the services that Broads provides where this reflects:

           the fact that some emissions in the Broads Area (such as transport or
            waste emissions) are to a greater or lesser extent the preserve of other
            Authorities which will (or should) be considering such emissions and
            categories of emissions at the level of District and County Council level (or
            put another way, BA has a strong influence on some emissions and less
            on others); and
           by considering those emission sources (and removals) that are most
            directly related to the Broads in more detail it is possible to make reference
            to the net emissions (emissions less removals) and, therein, attempt to
            develop an ‘ecosystem approach’.

2.5     This allows one to estimate the ‘carbon footprint’ of the Broads system as a
        whole, accounting for all relevant activities and land management issues, and
        therefore, adopt a similar ‘ecosystem approach’ to delivering (net) reductions.

2.6     The study remit focuses on the structure and information components for an
        audit of the Broads Area1 as a whole as opposed to the Broads Authority
        activities alone. Whilst there is obviously a need to incorporate the Authority’s
        emissions into the wider ‘Broads’ audit at a ‘higher level’ of reporting, there is
        also a need for the Authority to consider its own emissions in more detail as
        part of its work to reduce emissions. It is proposed that the best means of
        achieving this would be for the Authority’s emissions to be estimated by
        undertaking a standalone audit of its activities. This would have the dual aim
        of providing both the additional level of detail necessary to identify institutional
        carbon reduction options and also, once aggregated, the Authority emissions
        component within the wider ‘Broads’ audit.

2.7     In this way, the overall boundaries of the wider audit would be structured as
        follows:

           Level 1: a carbon footprint of the BA organised in a way that is suitable
            for emission elements to be ‘plugged into’ the second level, namely;

           Level 2a: a carbon audit of the Broads Executive Area relating to
            emissions associated with the services that the Broads provides; plus

           Level 2b: an estimate of other emissions within the Broads Executive Area
            but not connected with the services that the Broads provides; and

           Level 3: an estimate of the emissions (at lower resolution) over a wider
            area to provide context to the emissions in Levels 1 and 2. Owing to
            changes in district boundaries and other factors, we suggest that the most
            appropriate boundary is the Broads SDF.

1
        Funding for this scoping study has been provided by the Broads SDF on the understanding
        that the Carbon Audit has a greater scope than the BA alone.
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3       Sources of Data and Appropriate Detail

3.1     The report has presented possible sources of data and the means of
        modelling and calculating carbon emissions from each of the activities. As is
        noted frequently there, when considering how best to calculate emissions and
        populate the audit, it is extremely important to consider how the information
        can contribute to the development of strategies to reduce emissions. An
        (annual) audit that simply seeks to estimate the emissions from each source
        risks providing nothing more than a ‘stock-take’ of emissions and has little
        value from the perspective of identifying strategically what to do about the
        emissions.

3.2     In order to be able to use the audit more strategically one needs to be able to
        identify where the emissions are coming from, what the factors that influence
        the scale of the emission, to what extent these can be controlled or influenced
        by changes in strategy and, therein, be able to identify how changes in
        strategy may effect the emission. This, of course, calls for more detail in
        certain areas and this is why they have proposed the multi-level structure
        outlined above.

3.3     If the proposals on both the structure and the detail of the information
        components are carried through to the next phase of the development of the
        audit this should deliver a resource that will inform the development of:

           cost effective strategies to reduce the emissions; and
           a means of appraising (and estimating) the impact of future policies and
            changes in management on carbon emissions as part of a policy
            impact/appraisal process.

3.4     With regard to the latter, future changes in management or policies relates not
        only to policies pursuant of a reduction in carbon emissions, but also wider
        policies and management changes that may have an impact on carbon
        emissions whether those be at the level of the Broads Authority alone or as
        part of wider planning decisions.

4       Conclusions

4.1     The scoping study provides a robust and helpful structure for the full audit.
        The Broads Authority has set aside money in its budget to pay for a carbon
        audit of its own work. Informal discussions have been held with the Broads
        Sustainable Development Fund Administrator who would welcome an
        application to cover the costs for the audit of the wider Broads area. It is
        hoped that through working with the Norfolk Climate Change Taskforce it will
        be possible to utilise the data and expertise of the Norfolk authorities to
        provide the data for the context of the audit. This suggests that the finance will
        be in place to tender for and commission the full carbon audit in the early part
        of 2009.



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