27 Sep 2009

Will St Albans Council go for 10:10?

All three of the grey parties have signed up to the 10:10 campaign, to reduce C02 emissions by 10% in 2010. If you're an individual, you're supposed to reduce your individual contribution, if you're an organisation, you're supposed to reduce your organisation's contribution.

But what if you're a political party? For the Lib Dems, the answer appears to be that they will get their members and their councils to sign up to reduce 10% in 2010.

That means St Albans Council will be expected to join in. No sign of their eagerness to do so on either the council website or the local Lib Dem website. And it's hardly surprising. Such a target exceeds what they have so far signed up for, including the 2007 pledge to cut council emissions by 25% by 2013. There's no sign that they're even on track to achieve that.

The vast majority of council-owned emissions comes from Leisure Connection, especially the sports facilities. Not a good sign then, that when I was at Westminster Lodge this week I noticed that all the external lights were on, in broad daylight.

But far more significant than council-owned emissions are those of the district as a whole, including all of us, the businesses and organisations that operate here. Our council says it wants to reduce district-wide emissions, but has no plans for an effective way of doing that.

It is this pathetic lack of application to the problem, and the seeming inability to grasp the attractive idea that reducing energy use saves money, that makes me want to get Green councillors on to the council.

In other parts of the country such councillors are doing amazing things with insulation programmes, renewable energy and efficiency drives.

If St Albans Council is to meet its 10:10 responsibilities, and more, it must start doing something effective.

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