Tuesday 17 November 2009

‘Council to reduce carbon emissions by end of 2010’

The Council has joined forces with a number of high profile artists, writers, chefs, sporting heroes, councils and NHS trusts by pledging to reduce carbon emissions by 10 per cent by the end of 2010.

boasts the Council’s lavishly subsidised propaganda rag Waltham Forest News, in the latest issue, 16 November 2009.

The news item alludes to this:

Holding a flurry of personal pledges on pink card, families, celebrities and businesses celebrated the launch of the 10:10 campaign by promising to "turn my heating down", "fly less", "love jumpers", "eat less cheese" and "learn to ride a bike".

Isn’t that lovely? Isn’t it wonderful that the NHS is involved? In Waltham Forest, seventy-five per cent of clinics and other buildings used by the public and under the control of the local Primary Healthcare Trust lack even one cycle stand, but hey, let’s not be small-minded about stuff like that when we can wave a pink card with a personal pledge.

As for the Council. Its own Climate Change Strategy document states:

Parking policy needs to continue to evolve and be monitored to ensure it is achieving the objective of lowering the CO2 emissions from vehicles.

CO2 emissions in Waltham Forest stood at 1,089 kilo tonnes in 2005 (the latest year for which data is available). Of this, 44% are from the domestic sector, with the remainder equally split between the commercial and industrial sector and road transport. This corresponds to per capita emissions of 5 tonnes per year, slightly lower than the median for London Boroughs but very high compared to global averages.

But like politicians everywhere, Councillors Robbins and Belam speak Green words, sign up to Green publicity stunts, and then pursue policies expressly designed to increase car ownership and use at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians, as is unequivocally the case with the Forest Road Corridor scheme which explicitly states its ambition to "provide additional parking places for residents" and the Wood Street Corridor scheme which explicitly states that creating new parking bays on the pavement is "to improve facilities for residents, business and shoppers while maintaining traffic flow in Wood Street".