This is the first major part of the Tyndall Centre case study creating a set of scenarios of how the East of England Region may look in 2050 under large greenhouse gas emission reductions and with adaptation to residual climate changes. We set out an assessment (a 'framing narrative') of the region from the perspective of climate change. This involves describing and analysing the current state of the East of England's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, its vulnerability to climate change and how these are influenced by factors outside the Region. There are two main purposes to this exercise:
* To identify the most important drivers of climate change
* Establish a base from which to build our scenarios
>All activities emit GHGs, some more than others. We have used a spreadsheet emissions inventory model (GRIP) developed by the Tyndall Centre, regional strategy documents and reports, academic literature and local knowledge to build our framing and assess where the key areas are. The principal findings are (with approximate GHG proportions for 2000):
The main drivers of domestic emissions are poor energy efficiency of housing and an overall trend to increasing energy use.
>INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY. Commercial sector 7%; Other industries 16%
Emissions per unit of GVA are not high in the Region, since the commercial sector, a relatively low emitter, is a major contributor to GVA. The trends are towards more development of the 'cleaner' businesses such as finance and ICT. The two main issues for GHGs are the danger of appearing cleaner by exporting major industrial emissions sources to developing countries, and the location of development, with its links to the need to travel.
The large rural areas and reliance on commuting make the East the largest transport emitter per head of all Regions. There is rising pressure nationally on increased road transport, and major links to the location of development and the need to travel.
>PUBLIC SECTOR. 5%
The total is not high, but the value of 'leading by example' in reducing emissions from council activities, schools, hospitals etc. is high.
This includes tourism and leisure, and it is difficult to quantify exactly how much GHG is emitted directly from these activities. These are important sectors for the Region, and rely on efficient transport. Under climate change the sector is likely to expand, with implications for GHG emissions.
Agriculture, more than any other sector, indicates the links between climate change impacts and mitigation. Agriculture is a relatively large emitter of GHG (mainly from soils) for its GVA, and is very vulnerable to climate change.
The Region is nearly at capacity for landfill waste, and has a major strategy to reduce waste. The future is likely to see lower emissions from waste from the region, but possibly at the expense of moving emissions to other locations.
Emissions from energy used in providing clean waster and treating sewage are less than 2% of the total, but this sector is also vulnerable to the drier summers expected under climate change.
>LOCATION OF DEVELOPMENT
We believe that in addition to the recognised social and economic consequences, location of development is a major pressure for GHG emissions in the Region. The pattern of development can significantly influence the need and type of travel, linking transport, housing, industry, schools and retail.