Carbon Counting and Carbon Reduction from Buildings and Cities

July 14, 2006 - 12:00pm

Cities account for three quarters of the total global energy demand and produce almost 80% of our CO2 emissions driving climate change. This talk describes recent research undertaken at Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, England) to bring about reductions in energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on a citywide scale to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. A new bottom-up GIS-based model called DECoRuMTM has been developed, demonstrated and validated at Oxford, which is able to count, cost and reduce domestic CO2 emissions locally. The application of DECoRuM in Oxford shows that technically CO2 emission reductions above 60% from the energy use in case study dwellings are possible, at a cost of between £6 to £77 per tonne of CO2 emissions saved. DECoRuM also provides the scientific platform for the Oxford Solar Initiative (OSI) project, designed to use a community-based approach to help households and organisations in Oxford, financially and technically, to install solar energy systems and a range of energy efficiency measures in buildings. OSI has established strategic alliances, and participation, of the local government, households, business organisations, energy supply companies and community organisations to fulfil Oxford’s CO2 reduction targets. The OSI project has also led to the development of an action-oriented Oxford Climate Change Action Plan (OCCAP) to plan for carbon emission reductions from all energy-related sectors in Oxford city. The OCCAP constructs an accurate CO2 emissions inventory for Oxford city for a baseline year, establishes CO2 emissions reduction targets and proposes action for each of the energy-related sectors to meet those targets. The OCCAP is now being implemented by the Oxford City Council, and therefore provides a useful example for other cities in their endeavour for emission reductions. For more information about this seminar, please contact: JoAnne Lambert 510.486.4835, or send e-mail to

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