View from the top: A climate emergency

A climate emergency has been declared by many local authorities all of whom are looking to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions to support the Government’s ambition. However, getting there will be a different matter. Earlier this week the UK’s position on climate change was reinforced in the Queen’s Speech and aspirations set to lead the way on a global scale.

Later this year Glasgow will be hosting the COP26 Summit so I wouldn’t be surprised to see our Government committing to bigger and faster targets concerning carbon reduction. All too often we like to think it is some one else’s responsibility to make the necessary change, but change for all of us will be unavoidable on a greater scale than we envisage right now. Whilst EVs will play a significant role in reaching the desired targets as will carbon reduction relating to major highway improvements such as large resurfacing schemes, there is much more we should be thinking of doing.

Within LCRIG we are developing a carbon capture tool that is fit for purpose at a local level for measuring carbon associated with smaller highway works and this is already being trialled on a number of schemes being delivered through Project Amber. The clever part is, we are able to make an assessment of the ‘extra-over’ carbon savings local authorities can make by adopting a Project Amber approach versus more traditional methods.

We have also engaged with the government authority which provides protective security advice to businesses and organisations across our national infrastructure – the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). The discussions have been fascinating allowing a few of us in LCRIG to better understand their organisation, even though some participants cameras had to remain turned off for security reasons. There are some key messages that the CPNI wants to share which has led us to conclude that we should hold a webinar to facilitate this sharing of strategically important information between the CPNI and local government. I’ll update you on these plans in the near future, but if any of our members have a particular interest in this subject you might want to get in touch now.