Low Carbon Communities Newsletter 2

Welcome to the 2nd LCCN newsletter. Thanks for the positive feedback on the first one. These will now come to you regularly with updates on what the Network is doing, other developments and, if you tell us, what you’re doing. We’re keen to find contributors who could send us an update (monthly?) on what’s happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere.

Big Society? Low Carbon Communities?
It will not have escaped your notice that the new government is putting a lot of focus on community engagement through it’s ‘Big Society’ initiative. This is something that LCCN is watching closely at a national level and may be something your group should consider engaging with locally – a good way to build links to other groups and there might even be some funding…. get up to speed on this by checking the following links:
* A Cabinet Office report setting out the details behind Big Society – It makes interesting reading but the key points are the money being invested to train “Community Organisers”, starting this month, and that the focus is supporting the development of the new groups (what about the existing ones?). Big Society Report
* This is an excellent briefing from nef: Ten big questions about the Big Society and ten ways to make the best of it. Ten big questions about the big society
* The “new generation of community organisers” are likely to be trained by Citizens UK, based upon the USA model of community organising. For more information visit the Citizens UK Website.www.citizensuk.org
* For up-to-date information keep an eye on the official Big Society Blog. www.thebigsociety.net

Local communities and councils
Many communities are engaged to some extent with their local councils. There are tow links that may be of use here.
* Friends of the Earth are running their excekkent ‘get serious about CO2’ programme to get our councils at act more effectively. Anyone can join up: www.foe.co.uk/getserious
* Meanwhile ICLEI (the international local authority environment network) have produced a short Local Action Guide on climate and energy. The guide highlights the need for local action, short examples of different sustainable energy solutions, and encourages readers to join other communities engaging in local climate and energy activities. It has been produced as part of a European funded project ‘Local Action – Networking action to involve Local Governments in the EU and international energy and climate debate’. The project includes the ‘Copenhagen catalogue’ which presents good practice from across Europe. Further information on the Local Action project: http://www.lg-action.eu/

Carbon Leapfrog support new projects
Garry Charnock, one of the founders of the Ashton Heyes carbon neutral village project (www.goingcarbonneutral.co.uk) recently set up Carbon Leapfrog, a new charity aiming to mobilise free / low cost professional help (from lawyers, designers etc.) for local climate / energy projects. They can’t help everyone but if you’ve got an innovative project that needs help contact them. Similarly if you’ve got skills you can offer they’d like to hear from you: http://carbonleapfrog.org

Good Energy to fund community renewable heat schemes

Good Energy, the UK’s only dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier, has launched a new core domestic electricity supply tariff which has been certified under the UK’s new Green Energy SupplyCertification Scheme. The Green Energy Scheme has two main guiding principles which ensure that every unit of green electricity a customer buys is properly certified:

That the electricity supplied on behalf of the customer be 100% renewable and backed by the appropriate REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) and LECs (Levy Exemption Certificates), to ensure there is no double counting of electricity sold to customers.

That for every customer there must be an additional measurable form of carbon mitigation (“additionality”) to the equivalent of 50kg CO2 per customer per year – for Good Energy this means in the order of 1,600 tonnes per year in addition to providing 100% renewable electricity. Good Energy will achieve its additionality by supporting the development of the UK’s renewable heat market. Heat accounts for 36%
of the UK’s overall energy usage, creating 175 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Technologies such as solar thermal panels and biomass boilers can provide cost-effective, low-carbon heat
solutions throughout the UK. After conducting extensive research the company concluded that investing in community renewable heat schemes would offer the greatest benefits. When the renewable heat incentive
is introduced by Government in 2011 these sites will receive a payment.(www.goodenergy.co.uk)

Ireland seals 2015 renewable target
According to a report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAL) the country has already exceeded its target to generate 15% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of 2010. Minister for communications and natural resources Eamon Ryan said the report also shows that the country is on target to achieve its 2020 target to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources. He added: “Our targets will not be the limits of our ambition, and this report proves our success has been greater than we had earlier imagined.” (SEAL in Smartest Energy)
Latest UK Energy figures published
Britain’s energy consumption levels have fallen which could suggest an improved level of energy efficiency in the country. According to the latest statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 oil consumption fell by 6.8 per cent. Electricity and solid fuel consumption also fell, while gas usage rose by 9.6 per cent. In addition to a lower rate of energy consumption, the figures revealed that the UK is increasing the amount of energy it derives from renewable sources. In 2007, just 4.8 per cent came from renewable sources, including hydroelectricity, landfill gas, biomass and wind energy. However, the latest statistics show that 6.9 per cent of energy generated in 2009 came from these sources. Energy from wind showed particularly strong growth, accounting for 37 per cent of total renewable electricity generation last year. But there appears to still be some way to go before the UK achieves its status as a low-carbon economy as 45 per cent of electricity supplied in the first quarter of 2010 still came from gas.

Youth Action on Climate
The UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) is an organisation entirely owned and run by young people.
They say : We work with partners across the world to bring people and groups of people together to make it happen- inspiring, mobilising and uniting a youth movement for a clean energy future. The UKYCC isn’t just another brand-new organisation, it’s a coalition of youth organisations, large and small which have joined forces.
They are now looking to get young people across the UK to ‘shadow’ and monitor their MPs and how they talk and act on climate change. If there’s young people in your group or active youth groups nearby get them to sign up on the UKYCC site:http://ukycc.org/.

Local Speakers

The Climate Concern organisation has been running a Speaker Network of people ready and able to speak to organisations on climate change. This is a valuable free service at www.climate-concern.com/CCSN.htm which we will link to from our site. They are ready and happy to offer speakers (a list is available at the site). If you are interested in doing some speaking get in touch with them via their site.

Micro-Anaerobic Digestion Seminar
Saturday 10 July 2010
Please see deatails on the CCN website: www.communitycompost.org.
Seminar (for non-CAT members): £17.00
This includes entry into the seminar and demonstartion (£8.50) and CAT admission (£8.50).
CAT Members & Locals: £8.50 (seminar only)
If you are a member of CAT or local to the Centre you are admitted for free so you are charged for the seminar only.

Booking forms and more information are available on the Community Composting Network website at:www.communitycompost.org, phone 0114 2580483 or email info@communitycompost.org

Be our friends!

32 people and groups have joined our new Facebook site this week after Facebook managed to lose our last one… You can join it from our site (http://lowcarboncommunities.net/) and you can also join us as a full member on that page (and have voting rights etc.)

Over to you!
Have you got news that ought to be in this newsletter? Email us at news@lowcarboncommunities.net

General Email: hello@lowcarboncommunities.net
Website: lowcarboncommunities.net 29/06/2010

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