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dCarb launch

5 December 2002

Government advisors call for 'radical reshaping' of economy to face up to climate challenge

The UK's Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) has called on towns, regions, public organisations and businesses large or small to join them in a revolutionary programme that will map out the UK's future 'low carbon' economy.

The SDC's dCARB-uk project will fill in the gap between international goals and objectives and the concrete actions that need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get climate change under control.

'Nobody has worked out what the true implications of all our targets, visions and objectives
really are,'
said Commission member Walter Menzies. 'The Royal Commission on
Environmental Pollution has suggested we need to curb our carbon emissions by up to 60
per cent before 2050 - if we're even going to get close to that, it's going to have a massive
impact on businesses, society and the environment.


'The dCARB-uk project is designed to help us work out what a low carbon economy and
society will actually look like. We're going beyond the hot air of green commitments and
collecting hard data on climate change mitigation,'
Menzies continued.

The dCARB-uk project will begin in one or two pilot UK regions and will assemble a wide
and diverse group of partner organisations together to identify the best ways to reduce and reform energy use. It will then match these lessons to regional data on greenhouse gas emissions so that a robust plan for a low carbon economy can be mapped out.

The SDC is calling for potential partners in any UK region to register their interest. These partners could be regional agencies, industrial clusters, businesses, local authorities or community groups - their only unifying factor will be a commitment to a low carbon future.

Notes to Editors:

1. Sustainable development provides a framework for redirecting our economies to
enable everyone to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life while
ensuring that the natural resources upon which they depend are maintained and
enhanced, both for their benefit and for that of future generations.

2. The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is the Government's independent
sustainable development advisor, reporting to Tony Blair and the devolved
administration leaders. For more information visit http://www.sdcommission.org.uk. The SDC's remit is to advocate sustainable development across
all sectors in the UK, review progress towards sustainability, and build consensus on
the actions needed for further progress. The SDC is currently working in the areas of climate change, energy policy, food, health and agriculture, and regeneration.

3. dCARB-uk will first focus on one or two UK regions and will select partners primarily for their proven achievement and/or aspiration toward a low carbon economy. It will also select partners in other regions, to act as twins of those in the focus region, as illustrated in the attached diagram.

4. dCARB-uk is being carried out in three phases: first it will research existing work, and propose key success factors and a framework for further development; then it will trial a toolkit of products to be used for the collection, analysis and
dissemination of data; finally the toolkit of products will be used to collect and collate data that builds an in-depth picture of carbon reduction achievements and aspirations in the selected Region and sectors.

5. A contract for phase 1 has recently been awarded to a partnership led by Entec with The Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (at De Montfort University), Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD), Sherwood Energy Village and Stockholm Environment Institute (York) in support. Phase 1 completion is scheduled for mid
April 2003.

6. dCARB-uk is being undertaken with support from a wide range of bodies. For phase
1, we have attracted support from: Carbon Trust; The Energy Saving Trust; English
Partnerships; The Environment Agency; The Economic and Social Research Council
and The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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