Sunday, 3 March 2019

Climate emergency

In response to a (more demanding) e-petition, the Cambridge City Council declares a "Climate Emergency".

Cambridge Extinction Rebellion say "There were no new targets and no new policies. An existing “aspiration” for zero carbon by 2050 remains. This is far too late. The council promised to widely publicise this state of emergency, a concession to our demands.The feeling overall was that the council displayed a lack of political courage.Politics-as-usual will not suffice in the face of an emergency. The fight goes on, as we knew it would."

To Councillor Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services
Dear Ms. Moore

Congratulations for proposing and approving the Climate Emergency declaration on
the 21st. Feb.

I am concerned that the councils motion is to respond to this emergency by
promising that it "Will continue" with its current actions and will establish a
Cambridge Climate Charter which is a repeat of its actions in 2009.

I am also concerned that the motion is complacent in its self congratulations
for being on target of a 20% reduction in emissions by 2021, a trajectory that
merely follows the trend since 2015 and only touches "net zero" after 2042 if
the council can continue to make reduction at that rate. The IPCC says we must
reach this target by 2035 if we have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate
change. [In reality, after you have exhausted the low hanging fruit, you may be
pressed to make reductions of 20% of the last five year plan (not the 2015
figure). The exponential decline could result in the council only reach 33% of
its target.]

At the same time, your strategy seems only to be concerned with projects which
have a real financial payback time, and therefore should be seen primarily as
good management.

I am also concerned that your concept of carbon reduction is only concerned with
direct emissions. Can you say when the council will become concerned with:

The impact of continued growth in the city and the Greater Cambridge area

The impact of the embodied carbon in the materials to deliver the significant 
infrastructure projects proposed by the Greater Cambridge partnership and CIP.

and how these will be considered in your "Net Zero" aspiration.

I look forward to your comments.

Best wishes, Andy

"If I knew the world was to end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today."
attributed to Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Thursday, 18 October 2018

List Of Tips

It is a relief that the latest IPCC report Global Warming of 1.5°C has been largely well received. We can tell because there has been a spate of Lists Of Tips for people to reduce their emissions. Many repeat some of the old Urban Myths. Carbon Conversations shied away for giving List Of Tips (although we did list over 100 actions with their comparative impact) but presented Rules Of Thumb for sustainable housing, travel, eating, consumption and talking to friends and family.  I have extracted them below from the old "In Time For Tomorrow, the Carbon Conversations Handbook"

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Making New Housing Sustainable and Energy Efficient.

A short talk to the Calder Valley Community Land Trust on the 22nd August 2018

"I have a little to add to the presentations by Duncan Roberts[1] and Marianne Heaslip[2].
I started work as a building services engineer, the job of making sure the heating, ventilation, lighting and plumbing work. These are essential elements for creating sustainable buildings and have been involved in low energy projects, modelling and measuring for some years.
I would like to introduce 3 ideas that I think helps keep sustainability on the project agenda.
Avoiding sustainability slip,
The value of measurement,
And on being a good citizen.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Friday, 17 November 2017

Mill Road Depot redevelopment

The Cambridge Council Depot on Mill Road is being relocated and the site redevelopped for housing. This has been on the cards since 2014, when the Local Plan idenified the site as suitable for housing. After a consultation exercise, the council approved a Planning and Development Brief, but also set up the Cambridge Investment Partnership, a jount venture with Hills to undertake the development. After further consultation, the CIP have developped a proposal, which I feel is significantly flawed.

In general, the proposals offered by the CIP are not in keeping with the Mill Road Depot Supplementary Planning Document adopted by the City Council in March 2017, and have not taken into account the views of local residents expressed at previous meetings about the site.
In particular, I have concerns about issues relating to:
Urban Grain
Open Space and Gardens
Community facilities and additionality
“Affordable” housing and alternative tenures.