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BIS promotes financial benefit of carbon reduction

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) has said the waste sector should be focused in on the annual Carbon Budget progress report.

A BIS report, ‘Infrastructure Carbon Review’, sets out a series of actions for Government, clients and suppliers to reduce carbon emissions from the construction and operation of the UK’s infrastructure assets.

BIS said its recommendations could reduce up to 24 million tonnes of carbon and save the UK £1.46 billion a year by 2050. 

The report states that the Government’s carbon reduction plan and annual progress report – the Carbon Budget – should be extended to include the performance of the infrastructure sub-sectors including the waste sector.

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon and commercial secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton, wrote: “This report makes clear that reducing carbon reduces costs. It is part and parcel of saving materials, reducing energy demand and delivering operational efficiencies.

“Pursuing a low carbon agenda stimulates innovation, making businesses more competitive not only in their home markets but on the international stage too.”

Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council’s Green Commission has released its ‘Carbon Roadmap’, a strategy that includes plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2027 (from a 1990 baseline).

Highlighted benefits include:

  • reduced spend on heating bills/fewer people in fuel poverty
  • opportunities for job creation and economic growth
  • more sustainable travel options
  • improved health through better air quality/reduced greenhouse gasses

Cllr James McKay, cabinet member for a green, safe and smart city, said: “The roadmap clearly lays out the projects, policies and initiatives that will help us reduce fuel poverty, create jobs, and cut carbon emissions in the city.”

“It outlines how we plan to balance the need for the city to grow and develop with the efficient use of the planet’s resources.”

UK’s Carbon Footprint decreases

A Defra report, ‘UK’s Carbon Footprint 1997-2011’, has revealed that in 2010/11 the UK’s carbon dioxide footprint fell by 5%, following a 1% rise in 2009 (see table above).

The footprint peaked at 831 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2004 and in 2011 it was 22% lower.

Emissions for the production of textiles fell by 33% between 2004 and 2011.

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