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Leonard Igbodo London Borough of Lambeth c/o The Town Hall London SW9
27 September 2005
Dear Mr Igbodo,
The world is teetering on the brink of a catastrophic and chaotic future as a result of human induced climate change. We have if we are lucky 10 years to turn it around. A â€˜tipping pointâ€™ has already been reached in the Arctic where galloping warming will lead to other tipping points and an unstoppable slide down the slippery slope. The last time the world warmed by 6 degrees C the current estimate of temperature at the end of the century if we donâ€™t get a handle on this was 251 million years ago. 95% of all life on earth was wiped out. Evolution had to start again.
For the sake of our children and theirs and the other innocent inhabitants of this Earth we must do all we can to reduce our impacts in every department not just a little but with the aim of very quickly reducing our emissions by 90%. I know this sounds unthinkable but I have already reduced my own emissions by 60% Presently in the UK we emit about 10 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent per head per year (not including flying). On current projections I hope to achieve emissions of about 4 tonnes total. This is tough but possible. But it is not enough. The sustainable level which the world can cope with without warming is 1.3 tonnes. We have to come in below this to help reduce the impact of decades of over emissions. If you want to get into a bath that is overfull you donâ€™t just turn the taps down to the rate the overflow can cope with.
In this light I would like to know what Lambeth and its energy management department is doing to minimise energy use as an ongoing project. I note with satisfaction projects like the solar roof in the Angell Town estate and solar powered parking metres. But I see a lot of lights on in the town hall over-night. Do you have a figure for energy use per council employee? Is there a Climate Change education programme for council employees. Is there a culture of energy saving or any actions in place to encourage one?
Zero energy or â€˜autonomousâ€™ buildings are possible. It should be illegal to build anything else unless it is provably impossible. But the biggest savings we are going to make are within the existing infrastructure and built environment. Please look again at everything you do that consumes energy and at every strategy you can to save energy including â€˜energy awarenessâ€™.
Carbon Rationing in the form of mandatory carbon auditing of organisations, companies and individuals in a Domestic Tradeable Quota (DTQ) system cannot come too soon. Please start this carbon accounting within the Local Authority and be ahead of the game. Please look at what councils like Woking are doing, installing solar tracker panels to save money on domestic hot water in their buildings and installing solar panels on itâ€™s own building. Roof mounted wind generators are becoming available which can generate a megawatt over a year. If all suitable roofs in the UK were fitted with solar panels it would supply the equivalent of our entire current demand. It has been estimated that this would cost Â£41 billion which compared with the costs of long term investment in nuclear power is nothing. Please lead the way.
I look forward to your reply and to evidence of a concrete, programme with appropriately challenging targets to reduce emissions from energy use.
cc Martyn Walker Cllr Clare Whelan Jessica Currie