Welcome to the 21st LCCN newsletter! This issue includes a special article on the role of local councils in tackling climate change, written for us by Friends of the Earth: see the bottom of the newsletter for the full text. And please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net
In this issue:
- Community Futures — sustainability training
- Renewable energy project for communities in Somerset Levels and Moors
- Eco Transport Show, Earls Court, Thursday 18th November
- Support for third sector organisations in tackling Climate Change
- London Carbon Communities — next meeting
- Climate Alliance workshop
- Renewable energy workshop
- Letter from Friends of the Earth on the government Climate Bill and local councils
Trafford Hall, the home to the charity National Communities Resource Centre in Chester, has been fortunate enough to abtain funding from the Tudor Trust to run a two year residential programme on sustainability, which we are calling Community Futures. This funding means that we can offer these courses for only £50 for community volunteers. This price not only includes the training but also all meals and refreshments during your stay and one night’s accommodation in one of our en-suit bedrooms at Trafford Hall. All courses on this programme are fun as well as informative. You will leave having new skills and you will also have the confidence to put these skills in to action. See the website for more details www.traffordhall.com.
Courses coming up are:
Too Good Too Waste – projects to use your junk, (29-30 November 2010) – to increase awareness of the wastefulness of society, the environmental problems this causes and the usefulness of resources that are routinely thrown away.
An Introduction to Sustainability (10th December 2010) – This one day event is for volunteers and those working with the community, as an introduction to the context of environmental change and the impact it could have on lower income communities. One day price £25.
Involving the Street (13-14 December 2010) – Many local environmentally-based projects have been growing projects. This course will give you an understanding of what has been achieved by others taking this approach, and how you can make it happen locally.
Levels and Moors Energy
A new project, Levels and Moors Energy, has been set up with the aim of supporting between 10 and 15 communities in Somerset, who are considering – or who would like to investigate – options for renewable energy schemes. Developed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and funded through the South West Regional Development Agency, the new project will offer a varity of community groups, village halls, community buildings and small businesses, help with identifying and developing community-scale low carbon or renewable energy projects.
Bridget Newbery at CSE, said: “lots of people find the idea of investing in renewable technologies very interesting and there are even opportunities for generating income, but identifying the most suitable option for a particular community project, and making plans to get the scheme off the ground, can be daunting. The Levels and Moors Energy project aims to give groups the foot-up they need to get started.” There’s a launch event on Saturday 4th December, 10 am to 3pm at Othery Village Hall, where people can find out more about renewable energy and how they can benefit from this project. To find out more about the project, visit the CSE website: www.cse.org.uk/levelsandmoors
Some of the more interesting issues around the commercialisation of the greenish agenda are raised by this big commercial exhibition this week. Check out the Eco Transport Show – Earls Court on Thursday 18th Nov: www.eco2transport.co.uk
(Will this be a ‘green show’ that doesn’t lose money? – pretty much all the others over the last 20 years have done…)
JustAct is a website that supports Third Sector organisations to help each other create, implement and review their action plan on climate change: www.justact.org.uk
They have just started to boost the Facebook presence and are feeding some useful links and tweets through to their page.
London Low Carbon Communities Network
The next meeting of the London Low Carbon Communities Network is on Dec 2nd. For full details see the project Dirt site:www.projectdirt.com/events
The Alliance for Jobs, Climate and Communities are running a workshop on this theme on Sunday 21st November, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, London N1. Chris Church from LCCN Management Group will be helping with this one. Also on the excellent Project Dirt: www.projectdirt.com/events
Interested in generating renewable energy?
HHP (Hockerton Housing Project) is running its third renewable energy workshop on 25th November 2010, using our experience of community-scale projects to help individuals and organisations make sense of the options open to them, and understand and address the potential pitfalls.
Date: 25th November 2010
Venue: HHP, Hocerton, nr Newark, Nottinghamshire
HHP offers tours, course and advice services for individuals and organisations on renewable energy, and new build and retrofitted energy efficient homes. Please see website for more details.
The Energy Bill and Local Councils
This article has been written for the LCCN newsletter by Friends of the Earth – our thanks to them for it.
The Government’s Energy Security and Green Economy Bill will be published in the next few weeks. It’s the biggest opportunity this Government has to set Britain on a clear path to a low carbon economy.
Environmentalists are worried that it will be too weak in a number of key aspects, and miss some important issues altogether. Friends of the Earth is working with Stop Climate Chaos to gear up for a campaign through the House of Lords and Commons to strengthen it before it becomes law in mid-2011.
One of the missing pieces of the jigsaw will be anything to encourage local government action to cut CO2 emissions. The coalition Government is dismantling the regulatory structures that have encouraged and enabled councils to work on carbon cutting – like the National Indicators 185 and 186 for CO2 emissions from each council’s own operations and from their area.
Friends of the Earth has been leading a campaign to mobilise community support for councils to be more ambitious in leading local action to cut emissions. We have been asking councils: to commit to cutting CO2 in their areas by at least 40 per cent by 2020: and to back calls for a nationwide system of local carbon budgets.
Council leaders form around the country, and from all parties are now backing local carbon budgets. Local carbon budgets would ensure every council does its bit to tackle climate change to help meet commitments in the Climate Change Act. They would involve councils working with local residents, businesses, and institutions like schools and hospitals to lead area-wide strategies to cut carbon – creating green jobs, cutting fuel poverty and reducing traffic.
Friends of the Eart campaigner, Liz hutchins, said “Many councils are now taking climate change very seriously – but unfortunately most are being left behind. Statutory local carbon budgets will help councils prioritise and protect spending on climate change at this challenging time – and ensure emissions come down in every area.”
A briefing meeting for MPs and Peers is being organised on local carbon budgets ahead of the Energy Bill publication. Please ask your MP to attend on 1 December – click here to do this.
The website is packed with information about councils and local action to tackle climate change. Please visit: www.getseriousaboutCO2.com
The leaders of thirty councils have signed our petition to Chris Huhne.
General Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: lowcarboncommunities.net 16/11/2010