UK Government Shows Large Carbon Savings Are Possible

Permaculture magazine
Thursday, 7th July 2011

The Government has rather awkwardly just demonstrated that quite impressive carbon cuts are possible with minimal effort. Now it has set a precedent it will have to keep up with!

This week the UK government released figures which show that rapid carbon savings are possible.

Last May, inspired by the 10:10 campaign, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to cut central government carbon emissions by 10% in twelve months. The encouraging news is that the figures released this week actually show a 13.8% reduction, or 100,000 tonne decrease in government CO2 output.

Back in 2009 Permaculture magazine signed up for the 10:10 ( campaign, which aimed to be the biggest collective effort yet to tackle climate change in the UK.

Figures on any carbon cutting can, of course, be interpreted in a whole variety of ways. But, a few things which are impressive about this campaign are the range of people and business that have signed up, the involvement of younger people (via some engaging concepts and imagery on the campaign's website), the group's easy-to-use lobbying tools and the fact that a 10% target helps us see that such savings are achievable.

What it shows is that big organisations can make big cuts. It is sometime we can all do, and with this news now even the biggest businesses should start to be held accountable.

As 10:10's executive director, Angela Bryant, says:
"At the moment in UK companies aren't required to report their emissions, so you can't tell which companies are taking climate change seriously. Mandatory reporting – which is currently the subject of a government consultation – would require all large companies to publicly report their emissions every year, thus driving accountability and putting climate change at the heart of boardroom decisions. Common sense, huh?"