Welcome to the 84th 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 AGM and launch of Climate Partnership Guide
Those of you who attended the annual conference in January may have noted the lack of any formal ‘AGM’ style business or elections to the Management Group. As we said then, we would hold a separate AGM; this will now take place on April 17th –venue tba.
This will also be the launch of the LCCN publication on ‘Local Climate Partnerships’ (informed by the discussions and presentations at the conference) so we will hold a workshop /seminar on this subject at the same time. Keep this date free!
A new solar share offer
Inner London’s first co-operatively owned solar power station has launched. They say:
“Brixton Energy Solar 1 is a new Co-operative set up to enable local people to invest in renewable energy generation in Brixton and raise funds for energy efficiency initiatives. Have a look at the website, read the prospectus and support us! If you invest in Brixton Energy Solar 1, your money will be put to work straight away to finance the installation of a major solar power station in Brixton and a Community Energy Efficiency Fund.”
You can help set up a fund that will run for 25 years – visit the share offer page for details, and for more details seehttp://projectdirt.com/profiles/blogs/the-launch-of-inner-london-s-first-co-operatively-owned-solar
UK could become world leader on wave and tidal power
Hot on the heels of the 22GW of solar power ‘ambition’ is a new report from the Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee that calls on the government to establish long term goals for marine energy. It also suggests that the UK could become a leading exporter of wave and tidal power technologies:
More on this at the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/20/uk-exporter-wave-tidal-power?newsfeed=true
Green Deal survey
LCCN is carrying out this survey on behalf of the Communities and Climate Action Alliance, in order to get an understanding of how those working on the Green Deal are going forward. Thanks to all those of you who contacted us from last week’s newsletter; the survey will be on its way to you very shortly. If there’s anyone out there working actively on local Green Deal packages / finance etc. please contact us via email@example.com
For your assistance with this: the results will be shared with all contributors.
DECC’s got Maps
The map of LEAF-funded community projects is on the front page of the DECC website – we must be popular….
But DECC also now have maps that bring together DECCs Local Authority datasets into one place allowing users to view trends in fuel poverty, energy use and energy efficiency measures. The maps will be updated when the latest quarterly and annual datasets at Local Authority level are published.
At this stage the interactive maps, are only available at Local Authority level. DECC will keep users updated if the maps are developed to visualise statistics at smaller geographic area level. There are four maps available, to view them, click on the links below.
- Cavity wall and loft insulation
- Fuel poverty
- Domestic solar photovoltaic installations
- Gas and electricity consumption
A new on-line network for low carbon action – working with Project Dirt
One question for LCCN is how we become a more interactive network and make it easy for members to share information and issues, above and beyond this newsletter. At the last management group meeting it was agreed that we would link up with existing online network Project Dirt – the most active green social network in the UK. A lot of LCCN people already use this network as do over 5000 people and almost 700 projects across the UK. Project Dirt is about to change and develop to allow new ways of cooperation and they have offered us free space on their site to develop a ‘cluster’ area for our members. There is no cost to use the site and when their major upgrade is launched in a few weeks we will have a presence.
In the meantime anyone keen to find out more can join and set up a site for their project for free on the existing network:http://projectdirt.com/
Dail Mail misinformation
The Daily Mail have again confused their readers over the amount of an energy bill that is due to social and environmental costs, or ‘green taxes’. Since almost everything in their article is old news, this does seem to be deliberate misnformation.
The Carbon Brief blog has the story and all you need to rebut the claims:
Nuclear power not sure? (a note from Chris Church, Chair of LCCN)
After last week’s article in this newsletter highlighting the planned protest action at Hinkley Point on March 10th (see you there?) a few people contacted LCCN saying are we /should we be anti-nuclear? At the moment we don’t have a way for LCCN to make decisions on such issues (something to discuss at the AGM) and it is also apparent that many people concerned about climate change have not picked up on the issues around nuclear economics and the nuclear fuel cycle. I will leave further comment to Tom Burke, an an Environmental Policy Adviser to Rio Tinto plc and a Visiting Professor at Imperial and University Colleges, London: http://tomburke.co.uk/2012/02/17/no-more-nukes/
India goes solar
Further news on how plummeting solar process are opening up new possibilities in this New Scientist article, which quotes Suntech’s analysts (Suntech are the world’s largest manufacturer) predicting that, by 2015, solar electricity will be as cheap as grid electricity in half of all countries (as discussed at our conference)
Rio+20 – global outlook is troubled…
Prospects for the Rio+20 Summit are not good, especially if political leaders do not support it. At the moment China and Brazil are among the few nations committing their leaders to attend. The reasons why we need more effective global action are spelled out (should you need them!) in a new UNEP report drawing on expertise from across the world:http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/foresightreport/Portals/24175/pdfs/Foresight_Report-21_Issues_for_the_21st_Century.pdf
PURE announces new funding round for low interest community loans
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest to PURE the Clean Planet Trust for the latest funding round is March 12th 2012.
PURE provides low interest loans to meet the costs of installing renewable energy equipment. PURE will normally lend up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of £50,000. The loans, which have a 4% interest rate, normally run for 5 years. Eligible organisations include charities, community energy cooperatives and other organisations operated on a not-for-profit or community interest basis.
For the latest funding round, PURE is seeking projects that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to the 50% most deprived communities in the country, as measured using the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation.
In order to reduce the time burden placed on potential applicants, PURE requests that a simple ‘Expression of Interest’ form is first completed. Organisations will then be contacted at a later date to confirm whether they will be invited to complete the full application form. It is hoped to make the funding announcements by the end of May.
A copy of the Expression of Interest Form and a summary of loan terms and conditions can be downloaded from PURE’s web-site at: http://www.puretrust.org.uk/page.jsp?id=105
Peoplefund.it is the latest crowdfunding platform in the UK that brings together people with big ideas with people who want to see them happen. If you think you have an idea that “might just change the world” then Peoplefund.it is the place for you to fund that idea. We look at all ideas from startups and charities to films and tech products.
On Peoplefund.it you can raise anywhere between £1k to £50k by offering rewards in return for pledges of money or time. It’s easy to set up all you need is a video, a project description and an idea of the rewards you can give. Funding is only given if and when the project’s target amount is met, if you don’t reach your target in the chosen time period then no money changes hands.
Rewards can start from as little as £1 and enable visitors to become supporters. What sets us apart from other similar services, however, is that supporters can also get involved in projects they’re passionate about by volunteering their time and skills.
Host a screening of Oscar-Nominated film
“If a Tree Falls”
“One of the best documentaries of the year.” – Critic’s Choice – LA Times
To book a screening of If a Tree Falls and find out more, click below.
A film about community action deserves an exclusive, community-led release. So we’re skipping a cinema release entirely and giving YOU the freedom to screen If a Tree Falls, as soon as you want, wherever you want. Barns, Schools, Cafes, Polytunnels. The choice is yours.
If a Tree Falls looks at a tumultuous time when the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11. When environmentalists were orchestrating spectacular arson attacks on timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado… For the trailer and more info, visit the Popup Cinema website and Contact Us if you have any questions.
And finally (actually quite serious too!) – Your garden damaging the planet???
A new report from the University of Reading, the University of Sheffield, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), ‘The Domestic Garden: Its Contribution to Urban Green Infrastructure’, questions the widespread assumption that gardening is eco-friendly. Lawns emit 10 times more nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas) than do agricultural fields, while positive planting around your home in the right way could save significant energy. It raises a lot of issues and also makes some recommendations for us all to take on board: www.independent.co.uk/life-style/house-and-home/gardening/gardening-turns-out-to-be-very-eco-unfriendly-7180870.html
A summary is at http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/26212/
More positively, check http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening
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. RURENER 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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 – email@example.com
Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.
LCCN Facebook page
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General Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: lowcarboncommunities.net 21/02/2012