LCCN Newsletter – Issue 81

Welcome to the 81st 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



Climate Change Risk Assessment shows the UK needs to adapt
LCCN hasn’t done much on adaptation but we should not ignore this:
Defra have published ‘The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA)’ This highlights the top 100 challenges to the UK and our economy of a changing climate and “provides the most compelling evidence yet of the need to increase our resilience”. A Government report published alongside the CCRA gives details of plans which will address some of the risks identified.
The Government has also announced a National Adaptation Programme that will prepare the UK for the effects of climate change, including the risks set out in the CCRA. People are encouraged to give their views through a new website on the action needed to tackle the implications of climate change where they live and work. Among the key risks the CCRA identifies are:

• Hotter summers present significant health risks. The CCRA projects that without measures to reduce the risk, there could be between 580-5,900 additional premature deaths per year by the 2050s.
• Increasing pressure on the UK’s water resources. The CCRA projects that without action to improve water resources, there could be major supply shortages by the 2050s in parts of the north, south and east of England with the greatest challenge in the Thames River basin.
• The risks of flooding are projected to increase significantly across the UK. New analysis for England and Wales show that if no further plans were made to adapt to changing flood risks, by the 2080s due the effects of climate change and population growth annual damages to buildings and property could reach between £2.1billion – £12billion, compared to current costs of £1.2billion.
• The number of days in an average year when temperatures rise above 26 degrees C is projected to rise from 18 days to between 27-121 days in London by the 2080s. This could mean greater demand for energy to cool buildings and more heat related illnesses.
• Increases in drought and some pest and diseases could reduce timber yields and quality. Projected drought conditions could mean a drop in timber yields of between 10% and 25% by the 2080s in the south east, driving up timber costs.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), and the complimentary Government report, can be viewedhttp://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate/government/risk-assessment/.



New energy scenarios for Europe

The final public conference of the EU FP7 ENCI LowCarb Project on March 15, 2012 in Paris, where they  will present the results, methods and experience of the Project. For organizations interested in development of their own scenarios and strategies there is a Pre-Meeting March 14, 2012 to discuss the practical organization of scenario work, stakeholder involvement, project organization, outreach, and funding. LCCN has been very loosely involved in this work.

Researchers and NGOs in 20 European countries already developed scenarios for their countries, and are now working on the implementation on the regional, national and local political level. We have collected information on the scenarios at the Low-Carbon Societies Network homepage http://www.lowcarbon-societies.eu/.
The project partners are Climate Action Network France (project leader), CIRED (France), Germanwatch, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and INFORSE-Europe.

Tesco drops carbon-label pledge

Tesco has dropped its plan to label all 70,000 products with their carbon footprints. The supermarket blamed the amount of work involved and other retailers for failing to follow its lead
In January 2007, Tesco’s chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy, promised “a revolution in green consumption” as the company pledged to put carbon labels on all 70,000 products. But on the eve of a major report on high street retailers’ green programmes, the supermarket has said it is ditching the scheme. “We expected that other retailers would move quickly to do it as well, giving it critical mass, but that hasn’t happened,” said Tesco’s climate change director, Helen Fleming. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/30/tesco-drops-carbon-labelling

CAG Oxfordshire News
Here are some great stories from the CAG Oxfordshire website about Oxfordshire groups who have won LEAF funding to run energy saving projects on homes:

Launch of new fund to save money on fuel bills: 
Sustainable Wallingford has won an £88,000 government grant to carry out home energy surveys on 300 houses in Wallingford. Readers can get a free assessment of their home and an Energy Performance Certificate (normal cost £100); advice on how to improve energy efficiency and save money on fuel bills; and information on funding options for energy savings and renewables. Sutainable Wallingford is also being funded to explore larger scale local renewable energy, and to set up Sue’s home as a demonstration eco-renovation house. More on this here.

Eynsham Area gets £40,000 to cut carbon: Transition Eynsham Area (GreenTEA) has been given £40,000 to help householders in the Eynsham Area (includes Cassington, Standlake, Stanton Harcourt, Church Hanborough, Freeland and Farmoor) to improve their insulation. Currently, most houses in Eynsham lose heat which could easily be prevented by better insulation. GreenTEA, which applied for the grant from the Government’s Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) has been taking ‘thermal images’ (a sort of heat-photo) of houses in the area over the past two months – they show the heat escaping vividly and shockingly. More on this here.

Oxfordshire’s Hub wins big grant from DECC: The Low Carbon Hub has been successful in its bid for £128K of funding from the Department of Energy & Climate Change for their Local Energy Assessment Project. The funds are to help UK communities take the next steps in reducing their carbon footprints.
The Low Carbon Hub is a community interest company set up to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change at the grass-roots level to create sustainable communities across Oxfordshire.
We will run eight integrated projects in the county between January and April 2012 to demonstrate that it is possible for communities to “power down” – make significant energy reductions and “power up” – optimise potential for renewable energy generation. More on this here.



Cultivate’s community share offer is open!

Cultivate, Oxfordshire’s local food co-operative launched its community share offer on Monday. Over 100 people packed in to the Turl Street Kitchen in central Oxford to hear the founder members present their plans for the future of the business, and how this fits into a more sustainable food future for the county. As a community benefit society, Cultivate is owned and managed by its members, and any profits are automatically reinvested into the business. Members of the public are being given the opportunity to invest between now and April to contribute to getting the business off the ground – £55,000 will be spent on farm equipment and seeds, a new VegVan and the running costs of the enterprise for the first year.
More on this here.

To view an article from a co-founder of Cultivate about what the CAG project does click here.


Energise Barnet powering ahead

Energise Barnet has recently been awarded £37,500 as part of Barnet Council’s Big Society Innovation Bank, a £600,000 fund created to help kick-start citizen- and community-led projects. Further details can be viewed here.
Nigel Farren of Energise Barnet 
has also been selected as the only London representative on a newly formed ‘Community Energy Contact Group’ convened by Energy Minister Greg Barker. The first meeting of the Group took place in December with Nigel joining eight other community groups and organisations from across the UK who will help DECC understand the issues and opportunities facing communities setting up local renewable energy initiatives. Further details on Energise Barnet’s involvement in the Group can be read on the following news report.
DECC have stated they welcome feedback and suggestions on community energy initiatives as well as notable case studies  which should be sent to alison.bailey@decc.gsi.gov.ukDECC are also seeking guidance from community groups via a short survey posted on their Community Energy Online website.

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds!

A fairly scary video…. http://www.climatecentral.org/videos/web_features/nasa-finds-2011-ninth-warmest-year-on-record

Who’s leading investment on renewables?
Did someone say USA? http://climaterealityproject.org/2012/01/26/whos-winning-the-clean-energy-race/

Jobs available for mobilisers and activists
Stop Climate Chaos are looking for 4 new Mobilisers (voluntary)  In London, the South East, Northern England and Wales to get people on board for our Rio + 20 week of action. During the Rio+20 earth summit in June 2012, local networks in the UK will connect with each other to organise exciting events in their areas and get new people involved in calling for a more sustainable future. Apply by: 10am Tuesday 31st January. More details: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/mobiliser-ad
They are also recruiting a part time experienced Grassroots Network Developer to get their grassroots strategy off the ground and (funding allowing) see it through to the General Election in 2015. Part of the work is to build local activist networks in key constituencies. Salary: £25,000 p.a. (pro rata), for the right applicant we will consider up to £28,000 p.a. Apply by: 10am Monday 20th February More details: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/nd-vacancy

Talking Climate – the gateway to research on climate change communication
Talking Climate is a partnership between the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN), the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) and Nottingham University School of Sociology and Social Policy.
There is a great deal of research on climate change communication. But too often this valuable knowledge doesn’t reach the people who need it most: climate change communicators. At the same time, researchers are often unaware of how to promote their work beyond academic journals.
At Taking Climate, the best research evidence is translated into practical guides on a wide range of topics, ensuring academics and practitioners get the most from climate change communication research.
With a comprehensive and regularly updated database of academic papers, a newsletter, and a blog featuring comment and analysis from climate change communication experts, Talking Climate is the gateway to research on climate change communication.
A regular newsletter will summarise recent developments in climate change communication research: new papers, reports, events and debates. You can subscribe for newsletters on the front page of the website: www.talkingclimate.org.


More training news

We’re always happy to promote relevant training.  Send us the details.
Talk Action  have the following courses shortly in london:

  • Communicating Renewable Energy – 15th Feb 2012
  • Environmental Sustainability in the Workplace – 29th Feb 2012
  • Engaging Communities on Climate Change – 30th March 2012
  • Facilitation Training – 12th April 2012
  • Environmental Sustainability in the Workplace – 17th April 2012

Engaging Communities on Climate Change will also run in Edinburgh on 4th April

And if you find this newsletter useful, please copy it to colleagues who might also like it!

Do you want to be a featured group on the LCCN website?

We have started a new featured groups page on the LCCN website hereRURENER 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 – hello@lowcarboncommunities.net


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

General Email: hello@lowcarboncommunities.net

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                             31/01/2012

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