Low Carbon Communities Newsletter, 47

Welcome to the 47th LCCN newsletter published by the Low Carbon Communities Network!
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
This week:
  • Climate and localism
  • Redeveloping the LCCN website
  • A Survey!
  • Zero Carbon Britain day
  • Making sure MPs’ Targets get converted into Action
  • UK drops the CO2 Offset Quality programme
  • PlanLoCal website and resource pack goes live
  • 2011 UK Transition Conference
  • Nuclear power
  • Electricity from bikes
  • Design a pylon
  • Positive changes in Australia(!)
  • The EU’s climate action website
  • Building LCCN — your help needed!
Climate and Localism
On Wednesday 19th May the Localism Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons with a majority of 84. Amendments are still being promoted. On Tuesday evening, Jack Dromey MP raised the Planning and Climate Change Coalition’s amendments to the Localism Bill in the House of Commons, and highlighted the importance of considering climate change in neighbourhood planning. The amendments were not forced to a vote and will be able to be debated in the House of Lords.
On a related issue – the weakness of the environmental aspects of the Bill, Friends of the Earth are asking organisations to sign up and add their logo in support of the following joint statement on the Bill:http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefing_notes/sustainable_development_am.pdf.
If your organisation wishes to sign up please contact FoE at localism@foe.co.uk.
A briefing from FOE on the Bill is at – http://www.foe.co.uk/community/campaigns/rights/localism_bill_26404.html

Redeveloping our website

We’re pleased to let you know that we are about to completely upgrade our rather basic website with some specialist help. So a) if you’d like to make suggestions (is there something that we really should have on-line?), orb) would like to be involved in the discussion process, then please contact Olly (LCCN office) – hello@lowcarboncommunities.net
It’s survey time!
You may think that you’re being invited to take part in a lot of surveys (and you’d be right!). [part of this is of course a desire on many people’s parts to know what’s going on at the grassroots.
Well one more is coming: next week will see the LCCN Annual Survey. We’re just finalising this – the survey that seeks to find out what you are doing, thinking and even worrying about.
Watch this space!

Zero Carbon Britain Day
Saturday 16th July is a ‘day to promote the goal of a ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ by 2030’. Inspired by last years’ report from the Centre for Alternative Technology, this is being organised by the Campaign against Climate Change.
They say: If you are organising, or even just thinking about organising, anything for Zero Carbon Britain Day, please let us know at info@campaigncc.org – we can provide you with help and advice.
They suggest
 Workshops, a talk, a lobby of your MP  a public meeting, a cycle ride, a procession, a rally, a carnival, A Zero Carbon picnic…  See further information – here. 
Let’s make sure targets equal action
We have just over a month left to push MPs to improve the Energy Bill. After the government’s adoption of stronger (albeit imperfect) climate targets last week we know that people power can help tip the balance, but we need to keep the pressure up to make sure these targets get put into action, by making the Energy Bill much stronger.
You can take action right now by asking your MP to support a better Energy Bill. Click here.
And if you want to do more, there’s still time to get involved in the Big Climate Reconnection and organise a lobby with your MP. If you check out the interactive lobby map (click here), you may find there’s already one planned near you!
For more information on the Big Climate Reconnection visit www.thebigconnection.org

UK Drops CO2 Offset Quality Program

The U.K. has canceled its program to assure the quality of carbon-dioxide offsetting, according to Carbon Retirement, a company that helps polluters cut emissions. The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was discontinuing the system on May 20 in letters to companies accredited to the program, including EON AG and British Airways Plc. The system assured that emissions offsets bought voluntarily were canceled or retired to prevent them from being sold again. Other standards for voluntary credits only guarantee that emission reductions have taken place. “The scheme was designed to be self-sustaining but has had very little public exposure since launch,” said Jane Burston, founder of Carbon Retirement. “It’s disappointing that DECC have decided to cancel the scheme, instead of increasing its visibility and making the high-quality offsets it represents more accessible.”
Businesses and individuals choose to buy such offsets as a cheaper alternative to cutting direct emissions. Carbon Retirement also purchases and cancels European Union permits as a way of reducing emissions.

PlanLoCal website and resource pack goes live
An effective tool for communities embarking on low-carbon projects

A new website and resource pack aimed at helping communities to influence local planning policy and contribute to a low-carbon future, has been produced by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).
Called PlanLoCaL, or ‘planning for low-carbon living’, the project includes a website (www.planlocal.org.uk) which is full of useful information and downloads for communities and groups who are investigating energy projects or who are looking to become a low carbon community.
Accompanying the website is a handy resource pack folder which includes exercises for groups investigating schemes, details on how to set up as a group, information on how to consult with the community, and much more.
Both the website and resource pack include a suite of 49 instructional films and case studies aimed at helping people through the various processes. These cover a huge range of topics, from the basics of introducing the different renewable energy technologies, through to project management, funding, dealing with planning, consulting with the community and heritage issues. You can also see case studies of 11 communities that have successfully got renewable energy projects off the ground and, in some cases, are generating cash to be ploughed back into other neighbourhood benefits. The groups explain the challenges they face as well as the results they achieved.
The PlanLoCaL resource has already been recognised as “strongly engaging and effective”, and cited as a model for community-oriented websites by community activists.
You can now view the videos online at the PlanLoCaL site: www.planlocal.org.uk/videos.
If you’d like to find out more about the resource pack and request a copy, visit – www.planlocal.org.uk/pages/contact.
There’s also more information on the CSE site at – http://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/1534

The 2011 Transition Network UK Conference…

Is at Liverpool Hope University from 8th – 11th July. More information about this and all things Transition in  the latest monthly newsletter – www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2011-05-06/may-2011-transition-network-newsletter
Nuclear power – not on your life?
It’s festival season and a group of campaigners and renewable energy activists are planning a major anti-nuclear push at Glastonbury 2011. A large artwork / feature is looking for as many banners, posters, and anything else large and visual. If you’ve got anything like this and could loan it for this show, please send an email to us and we’ll pass it on: contact – chrischurch@cooptel.net

Electricity by bike power
“Discover how to use your bike as part of a small power station, capable of powering computers, stereos, TVs and other small household appliances. Participants will learn about basic system design, power generation, electricity storage using batteries, conversion of DC to AC electricity by inverters and control and monitoring of power.  The workshop is for those interested in learning about pedal power generators. Suitable for all abilities.”
Saturday 11 June 10am to 5pm, Green Lens Studio, 4a Atterbury Road, London N4 1SF.  Cost £40 Contact 07931 840 771 or info@magnificentrevolution.org, sponsored by Transition Crouch End.

Design a pylon 
(yes really!) Given that much of the opposition to wind seems to be more about pylons than wind power itself, this may be of interest. Ceck DECC’s website or the competition website at the RIBA –http://www.ribapylondesign.com

Even Australia moves in the right direction
Finally authoritative research in Australia – will it be enough to move the lunatic deniers?  www.news.com.au/climate-commission-gives-sceptics-a-cold-wrap/story-e6frf7jo-1226060662201

You may not have seen…
The EU’s climate action website (in 21 languages!)
At – 

Lots of useful links….

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.
Tell us your stories
We are very keen to get local news – reports, project launches, meetings etc… Send us the details!

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                            24/05/2011

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