Welcome to the 25th LCCN newsletter! These 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 whats happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere. And please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at:www.lowcarboncommunities.net
- Funny Weather: the warmest AND the coldest November days ever recorded.
- Conference update
- Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy
- New National Carbon Budget Report
- Cancun – Back from the Brink!
- Stakeholder Perspectives on Policy in England for the 2016 Zero Carbon Homes Target
- Green Lemons?
November 2010 was notable for, in some places in the UK, having the warmest November day ever AND the coldest ever. This is rather what was being predicted 20 years ago when climate scientists were worried about extreme fluctuations…. But that doesn’t stop the sceptics confusing short-term weather and long-term climate.
A group of activists are setting up a blog on this: http://ukcoldwinters.wordpress.com/and point to another site: http://sites.google.com/site/whythe2009winterissocold/
If you’re wrestling with this, you might want to check out popular school science site Scienceupd8, who have a downloadable information module on this issue:
If you’re planning to attend the January conference, better book now! It’s filling up fast. We are going to have to limit organisations to one person per group and may soon be putting people on a reserve list. In response to various questions we are hoping to be able to offer travel expenses to some people on low incomes and are looking for people in London who can offer free accommodation. More news on this soon.
‘Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy’
Amidst Government rhetoric about developing a Big Society to unleash the power of community in developing a sustainable, low-carbon future, but alongside swingeing spending cuts, A Thousand Flowers Blooming? explored the key opportunities and challenges faced by the community energy sector last week. The event launched a new research project on ‘Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy’ www.grassrootsinnovation.org.
For full artical click here.
New National Carbon Budget Report
The Committee on Climate Change, the national agency that are “Independent advisors to the UK Government on tackling and preparing for climate change” have just produced their ‘Fourth Carbon Budget – Reducing emissions through the 2020s’
They are proposing a 60 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, relative to 1990 levels. (Not quite ZeroCarbon 2030!)
Find the report, Key Findings, Executive Summary, etc. here: http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/fourth-carbon-budget.
Cancun – Back from the Brink!
It might not have been a great deal, but it is first steps towards a new deal.
The key issues (thanks to tkctcktck) in summary:
A lifeline for UNFCCC and multilateralism. Many have been undermining the UN and multilateralism which is the only process that includes the world’s most vulnerable countries. Indian Environment Minister Jairem Ramesh stressed this saying that the COP President had “restored confidence of the world in the multilateral process”.
An agreement on a global Shared Vision on climate change. Including a pledge to limit warming to less than 2 degrees and consider 1.5 degrees in the near term; and global long term emission reductions of -50% by 2050. Current pledges are nowhere near enough to achieve this – but we have a target to hold governments accountable.
Launch of a Climate Fund. Although the Copenhagen Accord identified the need for a fund, governments of developed countries must deliver to help rebuild trust. Eventually it was agreed that developing countries will have more members on the board than developed countries.
Mitigation pledges under the UNFCCC. The level of emissions cuts was not increased but the pledges and actions of all countries will be under the UNFCCC. A review process is on the gap between what the pledges give us and what the science says we need is in place, so at least the pledges are a ‘floor’ not a ‘ceiling’ – greater ambition is needed.
2ND commitment period of Kyoto. This battle continues into next year with Japan and Russia not committing to new targets. This will be a key battle ground to push for a legally binding commitment at COP 17 in Durban next year.
Really Zero? Stakeholder Perspectives on Policy in England for the 2016 Zero Carbon Homes Target
Anyone working on low / zero carbon housing is advised to check out this new report from Dan Greenwood at the University of Westminster – http://www.westminster.ac.uk/pdf_file/Really-Zero.pdf
It covers a wide range of inputs and includes guidance materials for those newer to these issues. It looks at measurement systems and processes and assesses initiatives such as ‘’PassivHaus’ alongside larger programmes and at what ‘Zero Carbon’ means (or is meant to mean!).
Transport is not an issue many groups work on. The excellent Big Lemon company that runs a very sustainable coach service in Brighton might inspire others to think on what can be done in other cities, and they recently won a ‘best sustainability award’ for a public service.
Check them here: www.thebiglemon.com