LCCN Newsletter – Issue 45



Welcome to the 45th 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. Please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at:www.lowcarboncommunities.net

It’s all hotting up? Or is it the Government cooling down?
In recent weeks we’ve highlighted the need to support amendments to the Energy and Localism Bills and issues around the Feed-In Tariffs. Now the Government’s level of commitment on climate change is facing a challenge.  We raised this issue last week and, as the Guardian said (Monday 9th)

Within the next two weeks, the cabinet must decide whether to accept the recommendations of its climate advisers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Transport (and the Tresuary by all accounts – ed.), are understood to be against approving the plan, which was proposed by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the statutory body set up to advise the government on global warming policy. The recommendations of the committee were accepted in full by the previous government, but Whitehall insiders warned that the advice was now in danger of being ignored. 

If they dump the 6-0% target then any statement about ‘the greenest government ever’ is revealed as complete nonsense. 

On-line pressure network 38 Degrees
 are asking that people contact their MP urgently. Tell them to write to the prime minister, demanding he keeps his climate change promises.
For more info see – http://www.38degrees.org.uk/camerons-climate-promise

The Stop Climate chaos network (of which LCCN is a member) has some detailed guidance on this, on the Energy Bill, and the 4th Carbon budget. For details on how you can get involved click here
The really important recommendations in the report (accepted by the previous government) are:

  • A Domestic Action fourth carbon budget of 1950 MtCO2e
  • An indicative 2030 target to reduce emissions by 60% relative to 1990 levels (46% relative to 2009 levels)
  • An adjustment of the second and third budgets to reflect the level of ambition in the intended budget for the non-traded sector, giving an economy-wide reduction of 37% in 2020 relative to 1990

The full report can be seen here: http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/fourth-carbon-budget


Energy bill second reading today!
The Energy Bill Second Reading in the House of Commons is taking place today. This is the first opportunity for MPs to influence the shape this, potentially momentous, bill will take. There’s a real buzz developing online – check out the latest on Twitter by clicking here or visit the Demand a Better Bill site.
Making sure MPs understand the importance of this Bill in terms of climate change, fuel poverty and green jobs, as well as to you, their constituent, is paramount. Please take this quick e-action to make sure they know the score.


Watch new case study films on energyshare
energyshare – the renewable energy community – has published new films featuring communities which are generating their own renewable energy and working together to cut their carbon emissions.
The additional case studies include a film about the village of Reepham in Norfolk, where 18 community groups worked together to insulate homes and install a range of renewable technologies including solar thermal, ground source heat pumps, biomass and run trials of bio-fuel heating.
In Wales, Llangattock Green Valleys is a Community Interest Company with the aim of establishing a carbon negative community by 2015 – meaning they will not only generate renewable energy for themselves, but also to sell to others.
You can watch more films about community energy projects – such as a BMX club that are generating their own renewable energy, cutting their running costs and helping to keep their project sustainable; a community swimming pool which cut heating costs by half; and a community hall that slashed running costs by 90% using renewable energy.

Got an idea? Apply for funding

If you’re part of a group that would like to save or generate your own energy, and you have an idea for a project – you can apply for the energyshare fund. There is up to £500,000 available now and energyshare members can apply for, and vote, on who gets funded. Simply set up a group on energyshare and register for the fund to get started.
To watch case study films and find out more about the energyshare fund visit – www.energyshare.com


2.30% + renewables by 2030…

A new report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says renewables should provide 30-45% of the nation’s energy by 2030. They still endorse nuclear power on the grounds of cost (despite no nuclear power station in the West being built to time and budget in the last decade….). 

See – www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13300595

Or 80% renewable by 2050 world wide…

Another new report, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released today, (http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/) says that renewable technologies could supply 80% of the world’s energy needs by mid-century.  It also says that almost half of current investment in electricity generation is going into renewables (Interesting!).  Those excellent people on the BBC website have the story at –www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13337864

Or even 100%….  News from the Low Carbon Societies Network ( the European network)

On April 14th LCCN took part in an event in Brussels  on  “100 % Renewables and Low-Carbon Scenarios in Europe by 2050. Comparison, Development, Driving Forces, Barriers. Stakeholder Dialogue Experiences “.

The Proceedings is available from (presentations, Summary of Panel Debate and some pictures) at http://www.lowcarbon-societies.eu/index.php?id=46

They add: The Newsletter no. 6 (April 2011 issue) is also available as a pdf file from the web site under “newsletter”.  Besides, please note that we welcome new scenarios as part of the online database on the web site as well as new contact persons who are working on sustainable energy scenarios.




Low Carbon farming project from the Soil Association
An exciting new piece of work has been set up by the Soil Association to help farmers reduce carbon emissions.

The project will identify user-friendly carbon foot printing tools and provide a benchmarking facility along with information, advice, and detailed case studies. There will also be the opportunity to take part in low carbon workshops as well as on-farm training events which will take place in the coming months offering an intro to the project for interested farmers and growers.

Poppy Johnson, Low Carbon Farming adviser at the Soil Association, said:

“There is a growing urgency for farms to reduce their carbon footprint. This kind of work is essential if we are going to reach government targets of reducing green house gas emissions 80 per cent by 2050. Farming has a vital role to play when it comes to our impact on climate and is responsible for 30 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions.
“We hope to encourage adoption of best practice by enabling farmers to learn from each other, make assessments of their current activities and identify areas where improvements could be made. I look forward to hearing from farmers keen to get involved in the initial carbon foot printing exercise.”

You can find further information on The Soil Association’s website – http://is.gd/UAhy6J 
 
Local leadership on carbon reduction
John Gummer, Conservative secretary for the environment between 1993 and 1997, has written an article for the Local Government Chronicle highlighting the crucial role that local leadership needs to play in carbon reduction. His article, published on the 9th of May, highlights that international carbon reduction is not possible if it is not supported by actions on a local level to reduce carbon footprints.

Talking about carbon reduction Gummer says:

“…these things are much better coordinated locally where they actually happen rather than in a far-removed and faceless Whitehall office. That’s why I believe that the Government needs to address this issue through action in the Energy Bill, which is currently before Parliament.”

He goes on to state:

“Ministers should not fail to provide the necessary framework for local action on carbon. Having proper carbon reduction and climate mitigation plans will allow town halls to work together more effectively with their neighbours – CO2 doesn’t respect local government boundaries and many activities are better done through council collaboration.”

The full article can be found online on the Local Government Chronicle’s website –  http://is.gd/oikRV3


Fair ways to tackle climate change?
The transition to a low carbon economy and society should be socially just.  But what does this mean … in principle and in practice?  Procedural Justice and Local Climate Policy in the UK is a one day workshop supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of their programme on ‘A Socially Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy and Society’.
It’s on 24 May 2011 in York –full details on our website here – http://lowcarboncommunities.net/2011/05/10/fair-ways-to-tackle-climate-change/

“Beyond con-dem nation: towards an alternative agenda for planning”

Anyone interested in planning, climate and localism may find this workshop being organised by Planners Network UK of interest. PNUK  is “a collective of practitioners, students, academics and activists that want to develop and support critical thinking about the current state of planning in the UK”.
See 
www.pnuk.org.uk for more details.
TUC Climate Change Conference
6 July 2011, Congress House
The highlight of the 2011 TUC climate change conference is a high level panel debate on the topical question: What makes a good green government? Our panellists include Environment Secretary Chris Huhne; Shadow Environment Secretary Meg Hillier; and (tbc) Green Party spokesperson Caroline Lucas MP. The panel is chaired by Frances O’Grady, Deputy General Secretary, TUC. Panellists are invited to make a few brief opening remarks, followed by a debate between the panellists and delegates, with Q&A from the floor.
The debate will set the scene for a day of discussions on green jobs and growth, including industry roundtables arranged for later in the day. Coalition plans for the Green economy roadmap (due late June 2011), energy market reform, a low carbon skills strategy and the Green Investment Bank should be published by then.  Other highlights of the day include three Labour-TU Policy roundtables: Building Visions for a Green economy. And (for the afternoon) six Industry Challenge roundtables: Where do we want to be, and how to get there?

Contact Philip Pearson (0207 467 1206) email – 
ppearson@tuc.org.ukFor registration details, contact Emma Hendy – (0207 467 1258) ehendy@tuc.org.uk

Building LCCN – your help needed

This newsletter now goes out weekly to more than 600 people and groups, but we’d like to get it to many more. You can help!

If you find the newsletter useful , why not forward it to other people you know, either in your group or within  your network. Let them know it comes out weekly, it’s free and all they have to do to get it is to join the network…by sending an email requesting a membership form to – membership@lowcarboncommunities.net

Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.

LCCN Facebook page
Please like the Low Carbon Communities facebook page here.
Thank you!
BIG thank you to Heidi Proven (energyshare) and Liz Postlethwaite for contributing to the newsletter this week.
If you would like to be a LCCN news contributor please send an email to – hello@lowcarboncommunities.net

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                            10/05/2011

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