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Climate Change Action Plan: Baseline Data

At this point we are reviewing the data available to the Council to establish current baselines. The Council is participating in the project to determine the level of need to decarbonise public sector buildings in the North West, funded by the Local Energy Hub and government, which is intended to lead to a programme of activity based on the identification of urgent need for remedial action, and through the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership we are addressing the outcomes of the carbon audit for Cumbria. We recognise we need to both understand the scale of the need through accurate current data and prioritise our activities accordingly.

Local authorities do not currently have to monitor or report reductions in their own or area emissions. This will change as the Environment Bill and Climate and Ecology Bill pass through their due Parliamentary process.

The Climate Change Committee recommends that local authority action plans should state how progress will be monitored and reported back to partnerships and residents, along with methods of ongoing engagement. The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny’s 2020 recommendations give us guidelines for self-scrutiny.

General guiding principles are:

  • Measure and report Scopes 1 and 2 as a minimum. Scope 1 is direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the local authority, for example emissions from boilers and vehicles. Scope 2 accounts for emissions of purchased electricity consumed by the local authority.
  • Define and report on Scope 3 as actively as possible. Scope 3 includes indirect emissions from wider supply chains, emissions from the use of local authority services, contracted out services and investments. Local authorities should assess the significance of emissions and level of control they have over different types of Scope 3 emissions and focus on the areas with the most emissions over which they have the most control or influence.

See the Terminology section for a definition of the scopes.

Work gathering baseline data is ongoing and methodology will be improved to provide more accurate and specific information.

From the latest figures available (BEIS 2017) the greenhouse gases emissions (excluding removals from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry – LULUCF) which originated in Allerdale were 629.1 ktCO2, with just over a third of this being attributable to industrial and commercial fuel use (289.4 ktCO2), alongside roughly equal amounts attributable to domestic energy use (178.2 ktCO2) and transport (181.4 ktCO2). The per capita emissions have fallen between 2005 and 2017 from 13.4 ktCO2 to 6.5 ktCO2.

The data allocates emissions on an “end-user” basis where emissions are distributed according to the point of energy consumption (or point of emission if not energy related). Except for the energy industry, emissions from the production of goods are assigned to where the production takes place. On this basis, emissions from the production of goods which are exported have been included, and emissions from the production of goods which are imported are excluded.

The Allerdale area emissions have been recently benchmarked through work commissioned by the Cumbria Climate Change Working Group, now known as Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership and carried out by Small World Consulting, and summarised as part of a countywide profile in ‘A Carbon Baseline for Cumbria’, 2020 (available via Cumbria Observatory ).

The Tyndall Centre’s (University of Manchester) assessment of a carbon budget for Allerdale as a district ( shows that for the area to make its fair contribution to delivering the Paris Agreement's commitment to staying “well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C” global temperature rise, then an immediate and rapid programme of decarbonisation is needed. At 2017 CO2 emission levels, Allerdale will exceed the recommended budget available within 8 years from 2020. To stay within the recommended carbon budget Allerdale will, from 2020 onwards, need to achieve average mitigation rates of CO2 from energy of around -11.2% per year. This will require that Allerdale rapidly transitions away from unabated fossil fuel use.


YearReduction in Annual Emissions (based on recommended pathway)

Table 1: Percentage reduction of annual emissions for the recommended CO2 only pathway out to 2050 in relation to 2015


The carbon budgets recommended should be reviewed on a five yearly basis to reflect the most up-to-date science, any changes in global agreements on climate mitigation and progress on the successful deployment at scale of negative emissions technologies.

These budgets do not downscale aviation and shipping emissions from the UK national level. However if these emissions continue to increase as currently envisaged by Government, aviation and shipping will take an increasing share of the UK carbon budget, reducing the available budgets for combined and local authorities. The Tyndall Centre recommends that Allerdale seriously consider strategies for significantly limiting emissions growth from aviation and shipping. This could include interactions with the UK Government or other local authorities and local enterprise partnership discussions on aviation that reflect the need of the carbon budget to limit aviation and shipping emissions growth.

CO2 emissions in the carbon budget related to electricity use from the National Grid in Allerdale are largely dependent upon national government policy and changes to power generation across the country. The Tyndall Centre recommends that Allerdale promote the deployment of low carbon electricity generation within the region and where possible influence national policy on this issue.

The Tyndall Centre also recommends that the LULUCF sector should be managed to ensure CO2 sequestration where possible. The management of LULUCF could also include action to increase wider social and environmental benefits.

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