Welcome to the 75th 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
Durban – a step forward?
The Durban talks end with ‘a late deal’ – see the BBC website for a useful analysis:
This certainly isn’t a world-saver. We should all get used to the idea of 3 degrees, not 2…. But a while ago the best that anyone honest and informed really imagined would happen would be a deal that opened the way to a legal agreement at the next COP. And that’s about what we got. In the absence of a John Prescott character to bully people into a deal (as he did at Kyoto), congratulations go to South African Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for her work on avoiding another disaster. Limited plaudits to the EU’s negotiator for finally getting their act together after a problematic first week…
One key event was the statement by Lord Stern that rich nations should stop subsidising fossil fuel industry. He reminded people just how far rich economies disadvantage the green economy by giving tax breaks and other subsidies to the fossil fuel industry (far outweighing those to renewables). If you missed this it’s on the Guardian site at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/07/lord-stern-rich-nations-fossil-fuels
Alone then? In the absence of national or global leadership, local action needs to maximise its’ effectiveness
The Durban talks, the EU ructions and some recent statements by the Government – notably the Treasury – make it clear that those active on climate change cannot wait for some high-level agreement to take things forward. If there is to be progress it will need to be pushed by pressure from the local level.
For that reason this year’s LCCN conference (Saturday January 14th) is focusing on new partnerships at local level – on how we can develop strong local coalitions or groupings that link community level action to councils, to emerging community energy groups and social enterprises, to academics and to large and small private sector bodies active in the area. We’ve got a developing list of great speakers and workshops and we’re still open to ideas.
We are pleased to announce that DECC have joined Oxford City and County Councils, Groundwork UK, Co-Ops Uk and others in supporting the event. DECC’s funding means that we will have a limited budget to cover travel costs for those who need support, so don’t let shortage of money put you off signing up.
Welcome to the Low Carbon Hub
The new Oxford Low Carbon Hub launched last week, a good example of the kind of cooperation that seems essential in the years ahead. They say that “Our aim is to dramatically cut carbon emissions across Oxfordshire by providing a “hub” where you, communities, can find a route to all you need to take action on climate change”.
Check it out at http://www.lowcarbonhub.org
Community FiTs – more ideas and responses
Debate and discussion on the nature of Community FITs continues while people are still feeding in to DECC (until Dec. 23rd)
A major attempt at a ‘Working Definition’ for a Community Fit has now been produced by collaboration between Forum for the Future, Community Energy Scotland, the Community and Climate Action Alliance, and others. It’s a sizeable document (3000+ words) but anyone working in this field should check it out. Opinions on content may differ – not all the LCCN management group support all of it. Download it here.
Big Society and Renewables: Five Measures for Delivery
A new report from Regen SSW shows in their words how the “results of the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff has been an extraordinary flowering of communities keen to generate their own energy” (or did we know that already!). The report “The Big Society and Renewables: Five Measures for Delivery” proposes a package of tax and incentive measures that, taken together, would enable the sector to flourish. It recommends:
- Exemption from the 20 per cent deduction in FIT for community multiple sites.
- Creation of a FIT tariff for community schemes between 5 and 10 MW.
- Allocation of 10 per cent of Green Investment Bank support for community renewables and energy efficiency schemes.
- Simplification of private wires regulations and facilitation of remote net metering to join projects with communities.
- Creation of a new instrument, the community issued tax-exempt mutual bond, to facilitate flow of capital to the sector.
The report can be found at:
DECC LEAF Fund
A lot of groups are busy on this already. Don’t forget that anyone with suitable skills can advise a community and help develop their bid, and add in a cost of up to £1000, to be paid if successful. If you’ve got those skills, it could be time to share them.
And if you’re newer at this and looking for support don’t forget that many useful organisations are on the UK Climate Map – find that at http://lowcarboncommunities.net/uk-climate-action-map/
BluePrint: new Energy Auditing Software
A BluePrint for success: As part of the Government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership, London-based energy organisation Carbon Descent has worked with London South Bank University to develop BluePrint; a software tool to carry out energy audits of non-domestic buildings. It will be available for purchase from the end of 2011.
See – http://www.carbondescent.org.uk/pages/blueprint.html
Do you want to be a featured group on the LCCN website?
We have started a new featured groups page on the LCCN website here. Sustainable Crediton is the current group featured, check the page out if you want to find out more about them.
If you’d like to be featured on the website, send us some text now. This should be broadly structured like this:
- Who we are
- What we’re doing
- How we involve our community
- The results we’ve achieved
250 words max, and please include a photo and logo.
Please email your details to – email@example.com<
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.
LCCN Facebook page
Please like the Low Carbon Communities facebook page here