Green Cities report response

By on 04/08/2009 in News, Video News

Birmingham City Council's Head of Climate Change & Sustainability Sandy Taylor responds to the GVA Grimley 'green cities report 'Cities, Commerce & Carbon: The Role of Property.

GVA Grimley Report

He said: “The GVA Grimley Green Cities report is a welcome follow up report on their previous one published in December 2007.

“The report presents sustainability data in a slightly different way from other reports. But this also makes it a little difficult to look behind the data to see exactly what the reasons for the differences between cities, especially where per capita comparisons on waste and carbon are concerned.

“We welcome the report's overall conclusion that Birmingham is the 4th best city - after Bristol, London and Manchester in per capita emissions.

“Nevertheless, the report does not take into account the increasing impact of the City Council's ESCO partnership with Utilicom - the Birmingham District Energy Company (BDEC) CHP arrangements as these only started in December 2006.

“And it is also unable to take into account the full impact of the investment by the City Council in its kerbside recycling (ie the extension to cover green waste, glass, metals, and plastics) and full city coverage.

“We welcome the conclusions as well that Birmingham has seen a reduction in its transport related emissions and is the second best placed city after Bristol

“But what the report doesn’t properly look at is that most of the cities including Birmingham operate 'energy from waste' plants and this helps to reduce the carbon emissions of energy generation through incineration of waste. So while the recycling targets of 50% set by government look as though they are not being achieved, in fact we are sending a very small %age to landfill.  But the report does acknowledge that the increase in all cities recycling rates over the last few years is a .good achievement'.

“It is clear that measuring the sustainability of a city is a complex task. GVA Grimley's report presents some additional interpretations of existing data. But it also shows that we must be careful in how the data is interpreted.

“But it is clear that all cities are engines for positive change on the environment and Birmingham is measuring up well on this analysis.”

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