The Northwest Climate Change Action Plan became operational in late 2007 and early 2008 through the development of a series of ‘portfolio’ projects. These consisted of either a collection of small projects intended to provide discrete support to enable the mainstreaming of climate change activity into existing programmes, and some larger bespoke projects to support the adoption of low carbon technologies. These programmes were also supported by the existing and planned investment decisions through the SCP and Energy themes, such as ENWORKS and Envirolink.
For an overall project value of £7.4m, the CCAP has added £68.4m in GVA with a return on investment of 1:9 overall. Net job creation is estimated at 486. The evaluation of the CCAP showed that it greatly increased both awareness and reductions on CO2, and engaged over 250,000 people from across the region. The main project portfolios were:
Support for Implementation – A wide ranging portfolio of activity focused on mainstreaming climate change into local and regional organisations, building and consolidating the evidence base, and facilitating communications. The main activity was the provision of sub-regional capacity funding, used primarily to employ a climate change coordinator. These posts were instrumental in ensuring that the messages and results from the action plan were disseminated locally, and to accelerate local action through the development of bespoke sub-regional projects, research, and strategies. This included Mini-Stern reports for all sub-regions.
In addition this portfolio delivered the evidence base for the CCAP and subsequently for sub-regional and regional strategies. Prior to the development of the regional CCAP the evidence base was fragmented and incomplete, given the innovative nature of the issues involved. This included carbon targets and metrics, the first inventory for the region, renewable capacity assessments, biodiversity and natural landscape impacts, the role of green infrastructure, economic impacts of flooding, and resilience in our key sectors and services. This research has informed the ongoing development of the CCAP (especially the refresh in 2009/10), the development of Future Northwest: Our Regional Priorities, and more recently the development of the Regional Adaptation Framework – which sought for the first time to bring together all adaptation activity across the region into one single performance framework. Resources were also provided to better engage companies across the region with international trade opportunities, and for the communications and marketing of the Climate ChangeAction Plan (including the development of www.climatechangenorthwest.co.uk, regular e-newsletter and annual CCAP conferences)
CCAP Transport & Domestic – A specific portfolio aimed at delivering the carbon efficiency outcomes of the CCAP. The focus for the Agency was to add value onto existing processes across the region, and accelerate adoption of innovative ways of working. We facilitated the development of region-wide partnerships and support services on energy efficiency and transport through the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centres (ensuring that the Northwest was the first region to benefit from this network), and facilitating low carbon transport coordination by 4NW and the Domestic Energy Alliance on energy efficiency and fuel poverty.