Thursday, 22 October 2009

10:10 motion defeated in Parliament

All credit to the 10:10 team and 38degrees for getting the motion tabled to sign up the UK government to the 10:10 campaign. Sadly the motion was defeated, although by a relatively small margin - 225 for and 297 against. You can check how your MP voted here.

The government estate is only half way to its target of reducing carbon emissions by 12.5% by 2010, so perhaps it saw the 10% target as unachievable. Actually, it's not that hard. The Carbon Trust estimates that office machines account for 15% of the energy consumption of the average organisation, and that this can be reduced by 70% just by turning machines off outside office hours - that alone could deliver the required 10% saving. The business I work for reduced its carbon emissions by 9% last year, and has already signed up for 10:10 to help keep us focused on the next 10%. Year on year, our gas consumption is down 76%, electricity use is down 14% and we're using 37% less paper.

It's undoubtedly true that it's easier to get a small workforce mobilised, but that's why the public sector needs something like 10:10, to break the big, long-term targets into manageable chunks and make it personal. The campaign has already achieved a lot of traction in government. Most of the front bench has signed up, and all three main political parties have pledged their support. My prediction is that a second motion will be passed before the start of 2010. If you want to lend your weight to the campaign, sign up.

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