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National round-up: UK carbon footprint, waste, Scottish Forum on Natural capital, conservation, air quality, sustainable transport

Sustainable development news from across the United Kingdom: the UK’s carbon footprint; local authority waste management report; new Scottish Forum on Natural Capital; improving air quality; sustainable transport.

SD Scene publishes news and comment on sustainable development from across government, business and civil society. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect government policy.

The UK’s carbon footprint 1997-2011

This Defra publication investigates the impact that UK consumption has on carbon dioxide emissions. The worldwide production of goods consumed in the UK is taken into account, as well as goods produced in the UK and emissions directly generated by UK households. As the structure of the UK economy has been shifting towards the services sector, more of the goods UK households consume are now produced abroad.
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Local authority waste management report

The latest provisional statistical report on local authority waste management in England has been published, covering household waste/recycling and local authority waste management in England for the first quarter of 2013/14 (April to June 2013). The main headlines are:

  • The annual household waste recycling rate rose slightly to 43.3 per cent in the 12 months to June 2013, having remained at just over 43 per cent since March 2012.
  • The quarterly household waste recycling rate, which is highly seasonal, reached 46.2 per cent in England between April and June 2013, the highest rate achieved for an April to June period.
  • Household waste arisings remained relatively unchanged at 22.7 million tonnes in the 12 months to June 2013. Previously household waste arisings fell steadily by 10 per cent throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • Local authority managed waste going to landfill or incineration was 1.3 per cent higher in April to June 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 but is 32 per cent lower than in the same period in 2006.

Readers should note that the information covering April to June 2013 is provisional and will become final in November 2014.
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New Scottish Forum on Natural Capital

The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital is a new project bringing together public, private and voluntary sector organisations to protect and rebuild Scotland’s natural capital. The Scottish Forum aims to enable businesses and policy makers to make informed decisions about their impact on the environment, to assess the financial and other benefits they obtain from Scotland’s natural capital, and to make a concerted effort to protect it. Membership is now open to organisations operating in Scotland that would like to contribute to achieving these aims.
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New projects receive £1 million to improve local air quality

More than thirty projects across England will benefit from a £1 million government fund to improve air quality. This money will be used for a wide range of new local projects in 28 local authority areas who have each been awarded between £10,000 and £60,000. Project include a scheme to encourage cycling in Chichester, introducing 20mph zones in Cambridge, and changing road layouts in North Hertfordshire. Introduced in 1997, the Annual Air Quality Grant Programme has allocated over £50 million to support local authorities in monitoring and improving air quality.
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£78 million for local sustainable transport schemes

Sustainable transport schemes across England could benefit from a multi-million boost in funding as local authorities are invited to bid for a £78.5 million slice of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Local transport authorities in England (outside London) can apply for revenue funding up to a maximum of £1 million to support the cost of a range of sustainable travel measures.
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User comments

  1. Andrew HArmsworth says:

    Very strange to see no mention in the news round-up or the associated email newsletter of the NHS Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health and Care System 2014 – 2020, which recently launched:

    This is surely not only worth a mention, but is far larger in terms of its expected ongoing impact than anything else mentioned here? How was it missed?

    • Defra SD team says:

      Andrew, thank you for your feedback. We were aware that the new Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health and Care System had been published. However, for each newsletter, we are only able to include a limited number of stories and on this occasion we were not able to include an item on the new strategy in the February newsletter. We will be running an item on the new Strategy in the March edition of the newsletter.

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