Enfield Council in its Climate Change Plan has argued that the Council should become carbon neutral by 2030 and the Borough as a whole by 2040.
Setting these targets are commendable and important but it is vital that they are achieved. This means there has to be valid and reliable monitoring and that this monitoring needs to be publicly accessible and transparent.
We need to know much more in the Council’s Action plan on how they are going to do this and also what they are monitoring and what they are leaving out.
David Flint of the Green Party and a member of EnCaf has produced a report on how this can be done. The aim here is a reporting format that is easy to understand, and a basis for comparison between projects, consistent with council targets and modest in its requirements for staff
To achieve this he argues that the Council should designate an expert advisor (either staff or a consultant) to provide training, advice and checking.
This is an important step if the Council is to gain the trust of citizens and civil society organisations.
What is equally important is what the Council chooses to monitor and what it does not in the Borough. For example nationally 46% of UK emissions are exported when we outsource production needed for British consumption to other countries where labour is cheaper. These are clearly our emissions and should be incorporated into UK emission statistics.
The same is true with Councils. What do they outsource and is this included in their figures. Again for example many Incinerators are shifting their plastics to companies that turn this into oil or gas and this gets burnt and creates emissions. Are these included in the Council’s figures if this happens with the Edmonton Incinerator. We need to look at our net emissions in total.
You can see David Flints approach to recording emissions over time in this paper here.