Tag Archives: footprint

Urban plants’ role as carbon sinks ‘underestimated’

This is an interesting study that seems to show that plants growing in urban areas (Leicester in fact) can make a significant contribution to carbon sequestration.  The example is similar to what Permaculture originator Bill Mollison was saying 30 years ago – lawns are deserts (that also use a large amount of petrochemicals) – growing more trees makes a difference and also provides useful products for a local economy.

However, the research calculates the static carbon sink – the amount locked away, not the annual sequestration rate – it would probably be salutary to compare that to the rate of CO2e produced in urban areas (and in their ecological footprint).

BBC summary of the study:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14121360

 

 

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Know your (environmental) limits

SDC logo

The coalition vandals have ended (from 1 April) the Sustainable Development Commission.  Here is one of their last contributions – a useful piece of work that helps us operationalise the notion of ecological limits at a local (and therefore also bioregional) level.

“‘Living within environmental limits’ is one of the five principles of sustainable development. It is easy to talk about environmental limits, and many of us accept that such limits must exist. But how do we recognise them? How do we know when we’re bumping up against them? What can we do to prevent those limits being breached? And with the re-energised focus on local decision making we ask, what do they mean for local areas?

“We have proposed a definition of environmental limits and examined seven ‘key’ environmental areas under OECD’s ‘Pressure-State-Response’ framework, highlighting existing legislative limits and where these do not exist. We have considered ‘land use’ and ‘soils’ as particular areas for government action as there is currently little or no action taken to recognise environmental limits in these areas. The report also makes suggestions for action by local governance bodies and community groups.”

Link to the full report. (so long as they pay the website subscription ….).