Back in 2013 Manchester City Council tried to spin an increase in its emissions as a decrease. They were laughed at then. They have, of course, learnt nothing, and they’re claiming decreases that are basically illusory and not what was actually promised anyway. Ann Onymouse reports…
The council has put a news article on their website which begins “Figures show carbon emissions down over last five years. New figures show Manchester City Council’s carbon emissions have decreased by 13 per cent over the last five years. “
It is interesting that the council have chosen to lead with those headline figures, rather than the headline figure of the carbon emissions going UP 4.8% over the past year. The news post mentions that the target is for a 41% reduction between 2009 and 2020. In order to make that target, the council should have reduced its carbon emissions by over 20% by this point [actually, by 2014!]. Another appropriate title would be “Figures show that carbon emissions haven’t gone down enough over the past 5 years.”
The news article mentions that “more work is being planned to make the council’s building more efficient. This includes undertaking a huge building by building survey of all council buildings”. The report to the council, however, states that “15 buildings have been identified (11 in our top 25 carbon intensive buildings) that will be subject to energy audits… This work is subject to the approval of a business case which is currently being taken through internal sign off processes.” So will only 15 council buildings receive an energy audit, or will all buildings receive this after these 15 have been completed?
In the scrutiny meeting where the report was discussed, it was mentioned that 203 tonnes of CO2 were emitted by the council that were not contained in the report. This means that the emissions have actually gone down by only 12.7% over the past 5 years and up by 5% over the past year.
If they have not already carried out audits on their buildings, how do they know what the emissions are? Surely, when Richard Leese got off the plane at Copenhagen, in 2009 waving his ‘Manchester – A Certain Future’. That was the time to carry out energy audits on all council buildings and facilities? Nearly 6 years down the road and they still have not conducted any? What about all the money, they have spent on all those consultants? Which would have been better spent, sending council staff on courses on energy management, with money to spare.