Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Local Level

Take note: The coursework must be 10 pages excluding references.
See attached files
Calculation tool (spreadsheet), potential data sources and guidance for developing GHG emissions inventories at the local level are available in the material of Lesson 3.2
Examples of local climate change strategies are available in Lesson 5.1

Action on climate change often requires an integrated approach across a number of policy areas. However, this is difficult since the responsibility for different policy areas falls to different departments or bodies. The actions identified in policy are then the responsibility of a large number of different stakeholders.

There are many examples of climate change strategies in the UK and the rest of the world. Some examples are referenced in the lessons, while many can be found by searching online. In addition to these resources, it is important to search academic literature as this will provide the basis for decisions taken when developing an integrated strategy.

For this assignment you will take on the role of a local authority officer responsible for the production of your council’s mitigation climate change strategy. This will require you to develop a greenhouse gas inventory for your councils’ baseline year (the most recent year where you can find all the required data) and produce a technical report for the council. The report to the council should detail the results of the baseline inventory exercise, suggest three possible future emissions scenarios for your local area (up to 2050), three emission reduction targets and discuss the possible action that would be needed to meet the reduction targets in the scenarios.

One reduction target should be the Government target of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, a second should include a suitable target set for a Local Authority in the short term (e.g. 2015), and the third can be chosen to reflect possible local ability to achieve reductions in the medium term (e.g. 2020). The targets should be justified in the report and the ability to meet them discussed.

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of the coursework will demonstrate:

Familiarity with different local and regional climate change strategies both in the UK and the rest of the world.

Understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of an integrated approach to climate change policy action.

In addition to this, you should be able to:

Identify difficulties with the accuracy and availability of greenhouse gas emissions data

Identify, use and interpret the available greenhouse gas emissions data, identifying the largest contributors (baseline’s greenhouse gas inventory)

Discuss the need for multi-stakeholder involvement

Prepare a suitably detailed report proposing an integrated strategy for a local authority to adopt
Notes and guidance

The report must consist of the following:

1. Executive summary

Prepare a one-page executive summary of the entire report that covers the need to take action on greenhouse gas emissions, the possible targets for reductions and the key actions that could be taken.

The summary should include the energy consumption and GHG
emissions for the baseline year and the relevant output reports.

The summary should be concise and should not be more than one page long, including diagrams etc.
The summary should be aimed at key decision makers across the relevant stakeholders.
2. The Inventory and Scenarios

Include outputs from the analysis of the GHG emissions data to demonstrate energy use and emissions for your baseline year. To do this you will need to use a suitable analysis tool, such as the adapted Defra spreadsheet:

Identify three possible future scenarios for your local area up to 2050.
On the basis of the assumptions in the scenarios produce forecasts for future energy use and emissions. The forecasts for future energy use across sectors should inform the choice of the three emissions reduction targets and should be supported by the current literature on possible future emissions scenarios, for example the IPCC scenarios, DECC’s 2050 Carbon Pathways or the CCC study.

Examples of future emissions scenarios are:

Business as usual, where energy demand continues to rise steadily.

Technical Fix, where similar demands for electricity are assumed as in the business as usual scenario. However, reduction in energy use can be achieved due to technical fixes (i.e. using established technologies with payback periods of five years or less).

Green, which shows that very substantial reductions in energy consumption can be made. The demand for energy is lower due to increased use of renewables and/or behaviour change. As a result CO2 emissions are reduced.

The ‘Technical Fix’ or the ‘Green’ scenarios should achieve at least the 2050 reduction target.

Guidance notes for estimating the baseline year inventory are provided in the “International Local Government GHG Emissions Analysis Protocol Release Version 1.0” (available at CP/Standards/IEAP_October2010_color.pdf) and the Covenant of Mayors “How to develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) – Guidebook” (available at


When preparing the technical report, you will need to include:

An assessment of the suitability of the supplied data as an input into the analysis tool for estimating the baseline greenhouse gas inventory. Any gaps identified in the data and suggest possible alternative sources for missing data. An evaluation of the validity of the supplied data, including comparison with national data.

All significant assumptions made in the analysis of the greenhouse gas data.

Description of the three possible future emissions scenarios and the reduction targets associated with each scenario. For each of the scenarios you should give a full explanation of the reasoning behind the choice and the assumptions you have made about future energy demands.

A summary of the projects and measures that could be implemented in order to meet the identified targets in the scenarios. If possible, include a quantitative measure in terms of percentages of CO2 savings or
tonnes of CO2 reduced by the projects.

Discuss the ability of the partnership approach to deliver the reduction targets. Draw up a table identifying the role of key stakeholders in delivering the reduction targets.

The main text in your assignment, excluding references and excluding annexes, must consist of 20 pages or less (including the executive summary), and be submitted in a PDF format. You may append graphs, tables and annexes.

You must show particularly
good insight, critical analysis, technical competence or synthesis of ideas
and also demonstrate an excellent level of presentation, citation and
logical structure.

In a cover sheet or at the top of the first page include your name, the name of the module and the title of the assignment.

Preference should be given for academic references, but it is recognised that there are not many of these in the relatively new field of climate change strategies.

If you have not yet completed the Research Methods module, please use the following guidance with regard to referencing. When referring to material within the text of the report, reference the author and year of publication.

All material used in the preparation of the report should then be listed in the references section. Please use the Harvard system of referencing. For each type of material there is a slightly different way to present the reference. For example, journals and books are referenced as follows.


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