Can fuel poverty and climate change be addressed at the same time?

From: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/archive/947603/National-Energy-Action-Eaga-Changeworks/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH

National Energy Action, Eaga and Changeworks

By Radhika Holmstrom, Third Sector, 27 October 2009

Can fuel poverty and climate change be addressed at the same time?

Environmental and social commitments can clash quite badly over the question of fuel poverty. Charities and consumer groups have warned that Government plans announced in this year’s Budget to tackle climate change, which will be paid for partly by a £30 annual levy on the average household energy bill, could push 1.7 million households into fuel poverty.

Many funders who make money available for fuel poverty projects are seeking to address this potential clash.

Helen Walker, fundraising and sponsorship manager of fuel poverty campaign group National Energy Action, says: “Very few general trusts give grants for fuel poverty specific-ally. There are grants available for organisations and individuals, but many of them are from trusts linked to energy suppliers. You sometimes have to stress environmental savings in applications to them.”

Some bigger trusts with environmental objectives give grants to organisations that make it clear their fuel poverty funding bids will make environmental savings as well, and there are a few funding bodies that are specific to fuel poverty.

Naomi Brown, trust manager at the charitable trust Eaga, which provides grants to energy-efficiency projects, says: “We’ve seen more applications from organisations working with older people and people with physical and learning disabilities. These are the consumers feeling the effects of the rise in fuel prices.”

In July, the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group warned that the combination of rising unemployment and higher energy prices was likely to push hundreds of thousands more homes into the bracket where they are spending more than 10 per cent of their income simply on keeping warm.

Fuel poverty is likely to become a more important issue than ever, and organisations that fund work in this area are bracing themselves for increasing numbers of applications.

CASE STUDY: Changeworks

Edinburgh-based energy efficiency charity Changeworks has received a number of grants from the charitable trust Eaga, including one of £50,000 for a project called Energy Heritage, which tackles the high fuel bills faced by social housing tenants who live in Grade B listed Georgian tenement buildings in Lauriston Place, a Unesco World Heritage site in Edinburgh.

Nick Heath, a project officer for Changeworks, says: “There are a lot of planning regulations and you can’t install double glazing. We carried out a pilot project on one staircase, including installing a secondary glazing system designed specially for historic buildings, high-quality draught proofing and reinstating the original internal wooden shutters.

“We also installed a new type of floor insulation in the basement flats and fitted everyone with A-rated boilers, loft insulation and low-energy lighting. We involved the nine households affected as much as we could.”

The average saving is estimated at £175 a year, which translates into more than a tonne of carbon dioxide.

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UK research is pioneering a low carbon future

From: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/news/091207.htm


7 December 2009

Research Councils UK Energy Programme led by EPSRC is investing more than £530 million in UK research to develop low carbon technologies to fight the effects of climate change. A new website to highlight and explain this work has now been launched and is available at www.rcuk.ac.uk/energy

Research is key to achieving a low carbon future that is affordable whilst conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. The new website gives details of research currently being funded as well as examples of low carbon technologies that have made a hugh impact on society and the economy.

Some of the areas of research highlighted on the website include:

  • Energy efficiency – 14 million partnership with the Carbon Trust for the ‘Carbon Vision’ programme funding research into domestic and industrial energy demand reduction.
  • Nuclear Fusion – UK Fusion Programme based at world leading Culham Science Centre and several studentships awarded to sustain UK skills base.
  • Hydrogen and fuel cell technology – 11 projects in collaboration with industry and £17.7 million of research into hydrogen fuel cell technology.
  • Nuclear fission – £41 million portfolio of 20 research projects, seven in collaboration with industry.
  • Solar power – £50 million funding of 59 projects including the SUPERGEN consortiums and a collaborative research project with the Indian Department for Science and Technology.
  • Wind power – A number of collaborative research projects with industry as well as the SUPERGEN Wind consortium and a new Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Strathclyde.

Other areas of research being supported by the RCUK Energy Programme include bioenergy, cleaner fossil fuels, marine power, energy networks and carbon storage and policy society and economics.

Research Councils UK Champion for Energy and EPSRC Chief Executive Dave Delpy says: “Scientists and engineers in the UK have developed groundbreaking low carbon technologies to help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We must continue to support this research into how to deploy these devices in the most efficient and cost effective manner that has the least impact on the natural environment.”

The RCUK Energy Programme is bringing together engineers and scientists with industry partners including E.ON UK, EDF Energy, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and many more.

– ends –


Notes

Contact:
Chloë Somers
RCUK Press Officer
Tel: 01793 444592

About Research Councils UK

Research Councils UK is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. We invest annually around £3 billion in research. Our focus is on excellence with impact. We nurture the highest quality research, as judged by international peer review providing the UK with a competitive advantage. Global research requires we sustain a diversity of funding approaches, fostering international collaborations, and providing access to the best facilities and infrastructure, and locating skilled researchers in stimulating environments. Our research achieves impact – the demonstrable contribution to society and the economy made by knowledge and skilled people. To deliver impact, researchers and businesses need to engage and collaborate with the public, business, government and the third sector. www.rcuk.ac.uk

The seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

LEARNING IN ACTION!

From: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/News/Learninginaction/tabid/624/Default.aspx?dm_i=A1N,2U91,17K7OZ,8YIW,1

LEARNING IN ACTION!
Social enterprises and the community and voluntary sector: myths and realities

National umbrella bodies have been quoted as thinking that social enterprises are an ‘acceptable veneer for profiteers’; social enterprises see themselves as (social) wealth generators for their communities; government is suggesting that they are the sustainable alternative to the voluntary and community sector; academics grapple with defining what social enterprise is.

Do you have strong views on social enterprise and the potential impact of government support for this way of working with communities? We want to try and untangle the myths and realities of social enterprise.

Would you be interested in being part of cross sector ‘action learning workshops’ to develop solutions to the challenges facing social enterprises, voluntary and community groups and decision makers in the current economic climate? Then London Civic Forum, Social Enterprise Coalition and the Third Sector Research Centre would like to hear from you!

We are establishing a group of up to 12 people from the third sector and the public service sector in London to meet over 2½ days from early February to March 2010.

Workshops are aimed at community and voluntary sector organisations, social entrepreneurs, and local decision makers who have views on how these groups can work together  to break down barriers between them. They take an Action Learning approach, enabling participants to reflect on and share their own knowledge, experience and dilemmas regarding social enterprises and the third sector.

As part of the workshops you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of social enterprise and the different perspectives on their role as part of the third sector, to discuss issues of common concern with others from different sectors and to reflect on, and learn about, new approaches.

The outcomes of these sessions will also be used to inform London Civic Forum’s input into the Department of Communities and Local Governments (DCLG) National Empowerment Partnership, Social Enterprise Coalitions policy and the Third Sector Research Centre’s research stream on social enterprise.

You will need to be able to articulate your experiences and views constructively, and be willing to consider other people’s views which may be different from your own. You should be flexible and prepared to work with others to develop new solutions which can be used by all sectors.

If you would like to be considered as part of the group then please complete the attached form and return to Deirdre McGrath by 10th January 2010

Via email on deirdre@londoncivicforum.org.uk
Via fax on 020 8709 9771
Or by post 18a Victoria Park Square, London E2 9PB

Local action on Copenhagen

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Green-thinking-Nottingham-Copenhagen-summit/article-1593544-detail/article.html

USING the River Trent to create renewable energy for Nottingham was one of the ideas to come out of a climate change conference in the city.

The Nottingham Copenhagen Summit was held yesterday to form opinions on local action and mirror the international climate talks in the Danish capital.

Leading academics, and public, private and voluntary sector business leaders put forward their environmental priorities at the meeting at BioCity.

Some of the other priorities suggested included creating business and community co-operatives who share the cost of large scale renewable energy developments and then share the profits when the energy is sold to the national grid.

Anaerobic digesters, which transform biodegradable waste such as food and vegetation into bio-methane for energy, were also put forward as a key way for the city to meet the climate challenge.

Some of the ideas will be taken forward by the city council as part of its future planning to reduce carbon emissions.

Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson, a champion of green issues, said the city had to think about turning problems into solutions.

“The really good news about this is there are lots of places where we can draw on practical, working examples – but it does require a complete change in the way we set about things,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that in Munich there were 25 weirs along the river through the city and these created hydro-electricity.

And he told how Hamburg decided against building two power stations to meet its energy needs, instead putting combined heat and power boilers into 100,000 homes, schools, offices and factories.

This was at a much lower cost and also provided a secure energy source which could be tapped into to provide the wider energy needs of the city.

He urged people to act now or risk being left behind when energy prices rocket in the next few years.

“There are cities around the country that have seen which way the wind is blowing and have a queue of proposals already sitting on the desk,” he said.

“We need to grab ourselves by the scruff of the neck because there are going to be opportunities that come out of the crisis that we face.”

Andy Vaughan, director of environmental service for the city council, said Nottingham was currently a leader in climate change.

“We are famed for something called the Nottingham Declaration. That really started the climate change movement in local government some time ago.

“We have the tram. We are the Transport Authority of the Year. We have the largest district heating system in the UK.

“But the challenge ahead of us is far larger than our successes to date.

“Whilst the council has a role, its total contribution to the city’s carbon emissions is relatively small.

“Our influence is best in a leadership and facilitation role and that why the main purpose of today is to listen and to work collaboratively.”

jon.robinson@nottinghameveningpost.co.uk

Carbon Workout – Calculate your Carbon Footprint

From: http://www.nef.org.uk/actonCO2/carboncalculator.asp

Carbon Workout – Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Welcome to the NEF carbon workout

Global Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind and is mainly caused by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced when fuels are burnt to produce energy. Your carbon footprint is what’s left behind when you use energy at home, in your car, or on a flight. In just 10 minutes you can enjoy a workout to calculate your carbon footprint, discover where your CO2 comes from and learn easy ways to shrink that carbon footprint.

The workout is split into three sections

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint to find out how much carbon you produce at home, in the car and when you travel
  2. View a variety of actions you can pledge to take to reduce the carbon you produce
  3. Learn about how you can balance the carbon you produce financially

Start the Carbon Workout

The Carbon Calculator was developed in partnership with the c-change trust, an independent charity that works to reduce emissions, educate the young on climate change and create green spaces in the UK.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) conversion factors – tool from Defra

Greenhouse gas (GHG) conversion factors

The purpose of the greenhouse gas (GHG) conversion factors is to help businesses convert existing data sources (e.g. utility bills, car mileage, refrigeration and fuel consumption) into CO2 equivalent emissions by applying relevant conversion factors (e.g. calorific values, emission factors, oxidation factors).

These greenhouse gas conversion factors should be used alongsideguidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions to help you measure and report on the greenhouse emissions that your organisation is responsible for.

Please note that the 2009 Defra / DECC Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Conversion Factors for Company Reporting were updated on the 30th of September, 2009 to take account of responses from consultees during the consultation on ‘draft guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions’. This includes amendments to Annex 3, Annex 9, and the addition of Annex 13.

Current GHG conversion factors – updated September 2009

Older GHG conversion factors
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) conversion factor methodology papers

Regional and local governance of the low-carbon economy

CALL FOR PAPERS
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: London, 1st-3rd September 2010
Regional and local governance of the low-carbon economy
Abstract submission deadline: Friday, 12 February, 2010
Organisers:
James Van Alstine, University of Leeds (j.vanalstine@leeds.ac.uk)
Andrew Gouldson, University of Leeds (a.gouldson@leeds.ac.uk)
Sponsored by the Planning and Environment Research Group (PERG)
The transition to a low-carbon economy has become the political mantra of the 21st century. Through a mix of supply and demand-side incentives, governments, particularly in developed countries, are seeking to significantly lower emissions in carbon-intensive sectors such as energy, transport, housing and agriculture. The national policy signals are becoming clearer, but what remains opaque is how these ‘transitions’ will be governed at the regional and local levels.
This session aims to explore how regional and local governance of the low-carbon economy is emerging in a variety of contexts around the world. National decarbonisation strategies have largely been presented in aspatial language, with limited reference to the governance structures and processes required at various scales of analysis and in different contexts. The session invites both conceptual and empirical contributions that explore the following questions:
–  How are scaling and/or networking strategies affecting decarbonisation policy and planning processes?
–  How are place-based processes potentially territorialising the implementation and take up of low-carbon initiatives?
–  How does the interface between policy and planning influence the potential uptake of renewable and clean energy projects?
–  What actors and organisations hold positions of authority within the low-carbon economy discursive space? Who are the potential winners and losers? To what extent are these spaces of governance accountable and transparent?
–  How might the trickle down of the low carbon agenda influence the politics of protest at the regional and local levels?
–  How do bottom-up initiatives from the local and regional scales impact upon the low carbon agenda at the national and international scales?
The session organisers intend to submit a group of papers from this session for a journal special issue.
If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please forward a short abstract to the organisers by Friday, 12 February, 2010. Please direct any questions to the organisers listed above.
James Van Alstine
Lecturer in Environmental Policy
Programme Manager, MSc Sustainability (Environmental Politics and Policy)
Sustainability Research Institute
School of Earth and Environment
University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
T: +44 (0) 113 3437531
E: j.vanalstine@leeds.ac.uk
Find out more about SRI:

CALL FOR PAPERS
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: London, 1st-3rd September 2010
Regional and local governance of the low-carbon economy
Abstract submission deadline: Friday, 12 February, 2010
Organisers:James Van Alstine, University of Leeds (j.vanalstine@leeds.ac.uk)Andrew Gouldson, University of Leeds (a.gouldson@leeds.ac.uk)
Sponsored by the Planning and Environment Research Group (PERG)
The transition to a low-carbon economy has become the political mantra of the 21st century. Through a mix of supply and demand-side incentives, governments, particularly in developed countries, are seeking to significantly lower emissions in carbon-intensive sectors such as energy, transport, housing and agriculture. The national policy signals are becoming clearer, but what remains opaque is how these ‘transitions’ will be governed at the regional and local levels.
This session aims to explore how regional and local governance of the low-carbon economy is emerging in a variety of contexts around the world. National decarbonisation strategies have largely been presented in aspatial language, with limited reference to the governance structures and processes required at various scales of analysis and in different contexts. The session invites both conceptual and empirical contributions that explore the following questions:
–  How are scaling and/or networking strategies affecting decarbonisation policy and planning processes?
–  How are place-based processes potentially territorialising the implementation and take up of low-carbon initiatives?
–  How does the interface between policy and planning influence the potential uptake of renewable and clean energy projects?
–  What actors and organisations hold positions of authority within the low-carbon economy discursive space? Who are the potential winners and losers? To what extent are these spaces of governance accountable and transparent?
–  How might the trickle down of the low carbon agenda influence the politics of protest at the regional and local levels?
–  How do bottom-up initiatives from the local and regional scales impact upon the low carbon agenda at the national and international scales?
The session organisers intend to submit a group of papers from this session for a journal special issue.
If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please forward a short abstract to the organisers by Friday, 12 February, 2010. Please direct any questions to the organisers listed above.

James Van AlstineLecturer in Environmental PolicyProgramme Manager, MSc Sustainability (Environmental Politics and Policy)
Sustainability Research InstituteSchool of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UKT: +44 (0) 113 3437531E: j.vanalstine@leeds.ac.ukW: http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/people/j.vanalstine
Find out more about SRI:http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/research/sri/index.htm

EASA Meeting (European Association of Social Anthropologists)

Perhaps of interest to members of this list!

EASA Meeting (European Association of Social Anthropologists)
2010: Crisis and imagination, Maynooth, Ireland, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010

Workshop W019

Crisis, environmental anthropology, and the garden: local resilience, sustainable living and alternative food production

Convenors

Katy Fox (Aberdeen University) k.fox@abdn.ac.uk<mailto:k.fox@abdn.ac.uk>
James Veteto (University of Georgia) jv61598@uga.edu<mailto:jv61598@uga.edu>

Short Abstract

In the current global context of environmental and food crisis, this panel puts forward solution-focused and practice-oriented ethnographic research undertaken in contexts where ongoing alternatives to unsustainable living, business-as-usual agribusiness, and food production were examined.

Long Abstract

Providing a platform for researchers working in the areas of bioregionalism and permaculture principles of living, we want to investigate grassroots practices that explicitly go against the mainstream. We are interested in exploring both their imaginative potential as well as problematic or contradictory aspects. Permaculture is a global grassroots development philosophy and sustainability movement that encompasses a set of ethical principles and design guidelines/techniques for creating sustainable, permanent culture and agriculture. Bioregionalism proposes that economic activities should be constrained by ecological boundaries rather than arbitrary political divisions. It proposes a re-grounding of culture and community within particular watersheds and biotic communities. We do not limit our areas of interest to ecovillages that often explicitly incorporate principles of bioregionalism and permaculture, but encourage comparison with peasant livelihoods and sites of alternative food production as traditional applications of ecological principles in practice. How do these grassroots and movements and practices differ from dominant practices in how autonomy, growth, control, possibility, hope and crisis are re-imagined and practised?

Finally, we want to investigate the consequences of practice-oriented research for an environmental epistemology in anthropology. What is the potential of an anthropological public engagement with these grassroots movements? How can we expand our knowledge on sustainability in ways that complement and enable us to extend our traditional areas of theoretical and practical expertise? What are the consequences of real engagement with practice-oriented research for anthropology in theory, practice and dissemination?

Inside Out: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on our Environmental Crisis – Conference at UWE

17th April 2010 Inside Out: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on our Environmental Crisis A one-day conference by the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies (UWE,Bristol) Speakers: Paul Hoggett (UWE/SIP), Rosemary Randall (Cambridge Carbon Footprint & Cambridge Society for Psychotherapy), Sally Weintrobe (Institute of Psychoanalysis) What tricks does the human mind play, faced with the ecological abuse in which we are all implicated? How do we deal psychologically with the consequent threats to ourselves and our physical world? What contributions can psychological and psycho-social knowledge provide, in the current human struggle for and against a new paradigm, aimed at both survival and sustainability? Reflecting the growing interest in this most pressing 21st century problem, the conference looks at three themes which connect its inner and outer aspects. For further information see the CPSS website: http://www.uwe.ac.uk/hlss/research/cpss