Thursday, 1 April 2010

Task Force bows out with call for seven eco actions

A letter to the leaders of Camden Council's political groups

Cllr Nasim Ali, Leader, Labour Group
Cllr Alex Goodman, Leader, Green Group
Cllr Andrew Marshall, Leader, Conservative Group
Cllr Keith Moffitt, Leader, Liberal Democrat Group

Dear Nasim, Alex, Andrew and Keith,

At the final Camden Council all-party Sustainability Task Force meeting, which took place last night, I was asked to write to the leaders of all Camden Council’s political groups on behalf of the Task Force to seek your support for seven measures should you be in a position to form the new administration after 6th May 2010.

1. Eco Portfolio
To create an Eco Portfolio on the Executive to lead on issues relating to climate change, the end of cheap fossil fuels (“peak oil”) and resilience (the ability of our community to withstand external shocks)

2. Eco Champion
To retain an Eco Champion challenge role and to give it constitutional standing

3. Sustainability Task Force and Leader’s Group on Sustainability
To propose the merger of the Sustainability Task Force and the Leader’s Group on Sustainability into a new sub-group of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) devoted to climate change, peak oil and resilience issues, and to support the appointment of a chair who will challenge business as usual and commit to trying to make Camden a leader in terms of the transition to a low carbon, more sustainable future

4. Camden Peak Oil Report
To commission a Camden Peak Oil Report via the Local Strategic Partnership as Bristol has done and engage the community in the writing of it as Bristol has also done

5. Reduction in Camden’s carbon emissions of 40% by 2020
To commit to a reduction in Camden Council’s carbon emissions of 40% by 2020 based on 2005 levels and to seek to persuade all LSP members to do the same

6. Sustainability sign-off
To commission Bioregional (who gave a presentation to the Task Force last night) to create a Camden One Planet Living Index, such as they are currently testing with the London Borough of Sutton, as a way to judge the sustainability of council policies before they are enacted and then to raise this yardstick to the level of the legal and financial sign-offs that all reports and policies are currently required to achieve

7. Sustainability indicator
To commission the new economics foundation (who gave a presentation to the Task Force last night) to construct a combined indicator for judging the effect of Camden Council policies in terms of minimising the use of natural resources (ecological footprint), enhancing resilience and improving the wellbeing of residents

Caerphilly and Torfaen Councils in Wales have recently introduced combined indicators to measure ecological footprint, health (which is a big issue in the Welsh Valleys) and wellbeing. We believe that for a London borough resilience is a more critical indicator to measure than health.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support for the Task Force and the Eco Champion role over the last four years. I think we’ve achieved a lot but there’s clearly a lot more do. Hopefully the seven measures we have proposed here will help to set Camden on a course to becoming a truly sustainable borough.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Alexis Rowell
Chair, Camden Council all-party Sustainability Task Force

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