A few years ago it was all the rage to work out your carbon footprint and show how many planets it would take to support you in your Western lifestyle. Now there are industries who have to pay carbon taxes and therefore are putting a price on carbon.
I believe the carbon tax was set so low it continued to be cheap to pollute and also ineffectual because the market price did not encourage any change in behavior. But since then there been environmentalists buying carbon offsets and destroying them and not reselling them. And there has been the divestment movement. And now we hear of the “Carbon Offset Funding” that London Councils are to receive. How this income is calculated I am not sure I completely understand and the National Energy Council have tabulated very few spending this money. Is it just sitting in the reserves? Anyway this is the new relation to “Section 106” money
See for yourself, the report is here.
It appears from my brief inspection of this report that Kingston Council is lacking in a monitoring process. I would say we need proper cross party scrutiny of the carbon offestting fund.
I have just had a worrying conversation with a Council Officer, basically absolving Kingston Council of any responsibility for our Centre on the grounds that we entered a “Commissioning Process” and lost. This commission was an artificial market created by council officers and appears to lack any input from democratically accountable councillors. As councils lose staff due to the austerity cuts, more of the officers become commissioners, awarding contracts for services. So surely the contracts deserve greater independent scrutiny.
Well, my suspicions about the matter have arisen because there has been no analysis of our carbon budget as a Centre or its projects. No questions about the changes in public behaviour we ignited. So how in reality does this Carbon Offsetting Fund tie in with commissioning for environmental services? I just couldn’t seem to join the dots here.
Surely organisations fulfilling contracts and receiving this public money from carbon offsetting should show how they change public and business behaviour to reduce all our carbon footprints. Anything else does not make any sense.
I think Kingston’s representatives need to ask about this fund and how it works.
Just my opinion
Tendering for a commission is summarised here: