LCCN Newsletter – Issue 61

Welcome to the 61st 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

LCCN Conference
Last week we announced our conference to take place on January 14th 2011. We are now very pleased to confirm that a keynote speaker will be Jonathon Porritt, one of the very best speakers on climate and sustainability issues. An outline programme will be available for discussion shortly.


Note from WWF on the next steps and final stages of the Energy Bill and the Warm Homes Amendment

The Energy Bill is likely to be back in the Commons on Wednesday 14 September. The Bill will then head to the Lords for consideration of the Commons amendments. It is expected the Bill will be complete early to mid-October. There are two potential actions for you.
During Committee Stage over 50 organisations (including LCCN) supporting the Warm Homes Amendment wrote jointly to Chris Huhne about the inadequacies of the government amendments tabled in Committee that have been subsequently voted through. The response to this letter from Greg Barker on behalf of Huhne (attached) does nothing to ameliorate WWFs concerns on the Energy Bill and the Green Deal.
The Government has made it very clear they will not be bringing forward anything further at Report Stage. Labour have made it clear they are 100% behind what we’ve been calling for in the Warm Homes Amendment and this will be the top issue for them in the remaining stages of the bill. Please do participate in the two actions to help push these issue.
WWF have set out some clear and important lobbying actions. 
The full text along with the supporting documents are available to view and download on our website here –
http://lowcarboncommunities.net/2011/09/06/next-steps-and-final-stages-of-the-energy-bill/




National Sustainability Indicators
Defra is running an on-line Questionnaire on Sustainable Development Indicators. This is open from 1-19th September 2011, as part of the Government’s review to ‘streamline’ the existing 68 Sustainable Development Indicators.
The social enterprise Capacity Global  have expressed concern that the Environmental Equalities indicator may be one at risk. They say  “We need as many people to respond to demonstrate the importance of environmental justice as a measure of the UK’s progress with sustainable development. The Indicator is one of the few safeguards for environmental equality in the UK – let’s not lose it!”
Have your say by filling in the Questionnaire here:
http://sd.defra.gov.uk/progress/national/indicators-survey/ by Friday 19 September 2011.
More information can be found at:
http://www.capacity.org.uk/research/environmentaljustice.html 
Sustainable Development?It’s been possible to hear the phrase ‘sustainable development’ on TV and radio more at present than ever before. Sadly this is solely because it has been co-opted by the Treasury for its’ pro-economic-growth ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ that is a key to the National Planning Policy Framework.
The NPPF clearly has a wide range of problems and issues associated with it. One is that it talks about a framework for sustainable development, but as Jonathon Porritt and others have pointed out, there are “no authoritative or cogent principles” for sustainable development anywhere in the document. 
Defra (where views on this new misuse of the phrase are reputedly causing great concern!) if of course still working on SD and claims that they still support the 2005 national SD strategy.
See – http://sd.defra.gov.uk/news/ for their latest newsletter.


Ashden Awards 2012
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy are seeking entries for the 2012 awards. They want to hear from organisations in the developing world and the UK that are increasing use of sustainable energy, reducing carbon emissions and/or changing behaviour to significantly cut energy use.

Entry is free, and winners will receive £10,000–£20,000 each in prize money for programme development, with two gold awards of £20,000–£40,000.
See – www.ashdenawards.org for details. Closing dates for UK applications is 25 October 2011.



Low Carbon Expo
Low Carbon Expo 2011 is in Cardiff on Sept 16/17th.
It is the first low carbon expo in Wales and one of the largest events of its kind in the UK. It will showcase energy-saving products and services as well as offering education and advice, interactive workshops and live demonstrations. 

Register for a free entry pass at – http://www.lowcarbonwales.com/


And from Wikileaks…
Climate change and rising sea waters could wipe out much of the world’s rice stocks and leave millions homeless in Thailand, a leaked US cable reveals. The diplomatic cable, sent to ASEAN members and US departments last year, was part of the cache of tens of thousands of diplomatic documents issued by WikiLeaks last week.
In it, the US embassy in Bangkok flags the alarming prediction that rising sea levels will threaten Bangkok’s 12million residents with inundation by 2050. It also reported that rising sea waters could also kill off the rice paddies of the Bangkok plains that contribute to Thailand’s status as the world’s largest rice exporter. ”Other Asian mega-cities such as Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City face similar inundation scenarios”.

Contributors Wanted!
We are looking for people to send us stories – local, regional or national – relating to climate and low carbon living. There’s a lot going on out there that we never hear about! We like them short and with a web link, but we can post longer texts on the website. If you fancy helping us develop this resource then drop a note to hello@lowcarboncommunities.net.
  


Supporting Community Energy

Researchers from the University of Sussex are conducting an online survey of community energy projects to advise government about how to best support community energy. 
The survey aims to learn about experiences, activities and challenges faced by communities working to change energy-related behaviour, raise awareness about energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, or generate sustainable renewable energy.
We are particularly interested in “networking between communities” and carbon/energy performances! 
Completing the survey should take only 15-20 minutes and the results will be shared with survey respondents through the project website or sent to your email inbox!
Please go to this link to complete the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sustainableCommunityEnergy
If you have any queries and comments, please contact Jin Park at j.j.park@sussex.ac.uk.

Green Buildings in Norfolk – Open Days 2011
17/18 and 24/25 September – Booking Now!

The longest running open eco-homes event in the UK is back, for its 5th year. 24 energy-saving homes, businesses and community buildings in Norfolk will be opening their doors for guided tours with owners.  Terraced houses, farmhouses, bungalows, cottages, barn conversions and off-grid smallholdings are all featured. From LED lighting to natural swimming ponds, local timber shacks to Bavarian kit homes, air source heat pumps to wood pellet boilers, there really is something for everyone.
Booking is essential – see www.cprenorfolk.org.uk/opendays for further information.


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

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                             06/09/2011

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2 Responses to LCCN Newsletter – Issue 61

  1. Thanks for highlighting Defra’s survey on new sustainable development indicators – http://sd.defra.gov.uk/progress/national/indicators-survey/

    There is, in fact, a little more time available to complete it – the deadline is 19th September, not the 9th.

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