part of the North West Climate Change Action Plan

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Assessment of Potential of Carbon Savings Achievable in the North West Region by 2020

Date: 2008

Evidence type: Research

Organisation: 4NW

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A study investigating the potential carbon savings that could be achieved by the North West and its five sub-regions (Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside) by 2020.


This study corresponds to one of the actions included in the North West Climate Change Action Plan 2007-09 and contributes to developing the evidence base for prioritising future regional policies and actions.


The two main objectives of the study were to:

  • Conduct a high-level assessment of the range of potential carbon savings achievable by the region and the sub-regions by 2020, through the implementation of international and national policies as well as existing and planned measures at the regional level; and
  • Identify further activities to enable the North West to contribute its fair share to national carbon reduction targets and provide an evidence base to help prioritise future regional policies and actions.

Key Messages

Potential carbon savings: Implementation of national and international policies (as described in the Energy White Paper, 2007).

- EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS)  

- EU voluntary agreements on new car fuel efficiency  

- Supplier Obligation (successor to Carbon Emissions Reductions Target)  

- More energy efficient products  

- Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RFTO)  

- Code for Sustainable Homes / Zero Carbon Homes  

- Energy Performance of Building Directive  

- Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)  

- Changes to Renewables Obligation  

- Carbon Neutral Government  

- Business Smart Metering  

- Better Billing (domestic sector)

Climate change role/function
Fossil fuel substitution

Potential carbon savings: Existing and planned regional measures.

- Local Area Agreements (LAA) - NI 186  

- Regional CHP target  

- Local Transport Plans (Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington, Lancashire, Blackburn, Blackpool, Merseyside)  

- Tree planting schemes (Community Forests North West; Lancashire Municipal Waste Strategy)  

- North West Operational programme  

- ENWORKS Resource Efficiency Programme  

- Local councils' and county councils' Carbon Management Plans  

- United Utilities Carbon Reduction Plan  

- Moors restoration project in Lancashire

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure; Woodland; Trees; Grassland, heathland and moorland
Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Non-specific adaptation role/function

Potential carbon savings: Possible additional measures.

- Basic improvements to houses' fabric to improve energy efficiency  

- Heating improvements  

- "Smarter Choices" (soft measures to reduce road traffic and travel needs)  

- "Eco-driving" training programmes and awareness campaigns  

- Microgeneration in new and existing homes  

- Further tree planting - example of Lancashire  

- All remaining LA Councils and County Councils to implement Carbon Management Plans  

- Low carbon bus fleets  

- Congestion charging schemes and public transport improvements in the main cities of the region  

- Green roofs to improve energy efficiency  

- Possible extension of carbon capture projects in moorlands - example of Lancashire

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure; Woodland; Trees; Grassland, heathland and moorland; Green roofs
Climate change role/function
Non-specific mitigation role/function; Carbon storage and sequestration; Fossil fuel substitution; Reducing need to travel by car; Managing high temperatures

According to our carbon savings estimates and the baseline carbon trajectories calculated in the North West Emission Inventory, the region may not be able to meet the UK interim target of 26% reduction by 2020 if exisitng measures only deliver the lower end of expected savings.

Document Analysis


Level of document
Geographical area to which document refers
North West England
Is 'green infrastructure' mentioned?
Relevant to climate change...
Is it relevant to other (non-climate change) benefits of green infrastructure?
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