Category Archives: Low carbon future

Five ways community energy provides social benefits to local people

westmill_solar_coop_photo_by_adrian_arbib_credit.jpgA recent National Trust report highlights that it is difficult to measure the tangible social benefits of community energy but that doing so is worthwhile to encourage a shift in the policy landscape to support its uptake and innovation. One thing is clear: wherever you find successful community energy projects, you will only see real benefits for the local area. Here are five areas where projects are adding value:

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Five factors that will ensure workers and communities benefit from the low carbon transition

construction-worker-569126_1280.jpgThis post is by Catherine Cameron, Katerina Cerna and Lucy Stone of the consultancy Agulhas: Applied Knowledge. It highlights the results of research commissioned under a grant from CIFF.

Change can leave not just stranded assets and industries but stranded communities. Workers in the tar sands oil fields of Alberta, Canada were determined this fate would not befall them. Worried that the boom and bust of oil extraction would lead to layoffs, community disintegration and tough times,  they chose a different course. The worker-led Iron & Earth initiative is an indication of what could happen if fossil fuel workers get involved in changing their prospects.

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Why isn’t community energy playing a bigger part in the UK’s energy system?

community energy1.jpgIf you passed Norwood School in Lambeth last month, you may have seen an unusual sight: a group of teenagers on the roof. Far from misbehaving, the students were taking part in Repowering Lambeth’s Schools, a community energy project installing solar panels with a total of 264 kWp capacity on five schools and a library in the London Borough of Lambeth. As well as earning the school more money, students and the local area benefit from a community fund and solar panel making workshops.

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A breath of fresh air: the five things we should do to cut air pollution

car fumes.jpg

The right of UK citizens to breathe clean air is routinely violated. In 2018, air pollution in London exceeded the legal limit for the entire year before the end of January. Across the country, toxic air is linked to 40,000 premature deaths each year. And this is not a recent phenomenon. The air in London and most urban areas in the UK has been illegally polluted since 2010.

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Ten years on: reflections from the Grantham Institute on a decade of climate change research

180228-Prince_Albert-Grantham_Lecture-028.jpgThis post is by Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. He reflects on a decade of research and education in climate change and the environment as the institute celebrates its tenth anniversary.

 With a climate sceptic in the White House, record sea ice loss and atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.5 million years, it is easy to feel that attempts to curtail climate change and safeguard the environment have failed. However, reflecting on the past decade, it’s clear that we have come a long way in that time.

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A new springboard for women working in the energy sector

--Fotolia_202056947_S.jpgAs a policy assistant at Green Alliance, and a woman in her mid-twenties starting my career in energy, I am usually in the minority at meetings. My experience so far of the energy sector is that men are nearly always over-representated at meetings and panels, unless the organisers have made a conscious effort to include female speakers and panellists. And some attempts at increasing female representation are less than wholehearted; ‘pinkwashing’, where a woman chairs an all-male panel instead of speaking, is still common.

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Making UK vehicles 100% electric by 2030 will be an economic game changer

Electric car plugged in to electricity

This post was first published by Bright Blue

British car manufacturing history is dominated by iconic vehicles like the original Mini and the Jaguar E-type. Both are recognised and associated with British manufacturing across the world. The only electric vehicle (EV) produced in the UK is the Nissan Leaf, not a brand high on the list of cars people know Britain makes. Nor do people see the UK as a leader in the EV revolution, that credit goes to California, the birth place of Elon Musk’s Tesla.    Read more

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