10:10 inspires and supports people and organisations to cut their carbon emissions by 10% in a year.

Any individual, family, business or organisation can make the cuts - and by working together we can make a real difference.

posted by Ben Margolis

City says “it’s oil over!”

Oslo, the first capital to sign up to 10:10, is racing against the clock to phase out oil heating in municipal buildings across the city, and turn their sewage into fuel for buses.

Biogas Buses (Photo: Jan Ivar Bøe, Akershus fylkeskommune)

"We had our work cut out with 10:10, because Oslo already has a very low carbon footprint for direct emissions from things like heating, transport, and waste,” explains Tore Leite, Special Advisor on Climate issues in the Department of Environmental Affairs and Transport. 

And he’s not joking: already 94% of Oslo’s household waste is recycled or used to produce energy, fossil energy use in buildings has been steadily falling year after year, and 85% of school children walk, bike or use public transport to school.

“But the great thing about doing 10:10,” says Tore, “is that it has pushed us to go that bit further, and to raise awareness about what’s possible.  By getting our own house in order, we'll be in a much better position to encourage ordinary citizens and businesses to get to work on their own emissions."


Brobekk waste incineration plant

As part of the city’s commitment to slash emissions by 10%, all 341 schools and all other municipal buildings in Oslo which still use fossil energy like oil or gas for heating will either be connected to district heating systems (networks of underground hot water pipes, heated mostly from two waste incineration plants), or heated with renewable resources, such as ground source heat pumps (which tap into heat deep underground) or biofuels (like pellets made from waste sawdust).

“We calculated that phasing out oil will cut a bit more than 10% of our direct carbon emissions.  But it’s going to be a challenge, just because of the time constraint. Costs were also a concern, but fortunately the 2010 budget has allocated £21 million specifically for this.”

Next item on Oslo’s ambitious carbon cutting agenda?  Poo power, as it’s been so charmingly nicknamed by the Norwegian press.  By 2012 or 2013, Oslo will have new organic waste and sewage treatment plants producing biogas to fuel 250 city buses and a fleet of waste collection vehicles.

By getting our own house in order, we’ll be in a much better position to encourage ordinary citizens and businesses to get to work on their own emissions.

And this is just the beginning. Oslo City Council plans to phase out oil heating completely by 2020 and achieve a 50% cut in all climate gas emissions by 2030.  “We do have quite ambitious plans in the pipeline; but 10:10 has helped to provide a short-term focus. We hope that it will help to engage our own inhabitants and employees, and offer inspiration to other cities!”

10:10:10 - the global day of carbon cutting on the 10th of October that 10:10 is coordinating with 350.org - offers the ideal opportunity for Oslo City to showcase the initiatives already underway from both the business community and city council.

“Plans are afoot for a concert featuring international musicians in the Town Hall Square on the 10th, followed by seminars on the 11th to inspire and inform people about all we’ve been doing, and exhibit some of the green technologies that we will depend upon for a low carbon urban life,” says Tore, “These are early days, but it looks set to be a really exciting event… so watch this space.”