Climate Change – UK Government to Commit to 2050 Target:

 

 

Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change.

The UK already has a 2050 target – to reduce emissions by 80%. That was agreed by MPs under the Climate Change Act in 2008, but will now be amended to the new, much tougher, goal.

Britain is the first major nation to propose this target – and it has been widely praised by green groups.

Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut NHS costs. But some say the phase-out is too late to protect the climate, and others fear that the task is impossible (Reference BBC News 12/06/2019).

For further information please Click Here


Plant Extinction – Bad News for All Species:

Almost 600 plant species have been lost from the wild in the last 250 years, according to a comprehensive study.

The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates, and is twice that of all bird, mammal and amphibian extinction combined.

Scientists say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally.

Researchers say their analysis of all documented plant extinctions in the world shows what lessons can be learned to stop future extinctions (Reference BBC News 11/06/19).

For further information please Click Here


Almost 40% of the Electricity Generated in Northern Ireland from Renewables:

 

 

 

Almost 40% of the electricity generated in NI last year came from renewables, according to government statistics.

Power from about 82 wind farms in Northern Ireland was the main source.

Figures from the Department for the Economy show that between April 2018 and March 2019, 38.6% of NI electricity was generated by those farms, and from the likes of biogas and biomass.

It is a slight increase on last year’s figure, edging closer to Stormont’s target of 40% renewable energy by 2020 (Reference BBC News 06/06/19).

For further information please Click Heree c


Britain in Two-Week Coal-Free Record:

 

 

 

 

Britain has not used coal to generate electricity for two weeks –  the longest period since the 1880s. The government plans to phase out the UK’s last coal-fired plants by 2025 to reduce carbon emissions (Reference BBC News 31/05/2019).

For further information please Click Here


UK Government to Bring in New Controls on Plastic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a bid to limit pollution, the UK government will introduce new controls on single use plastic items next year. The measures cover plastic straws, plastic drinks stirrers and plastic cotton buds in England from April 2020 (Reference BBC News 22/05/19).

For further information please Click Here


Public Power Solutions Energises Barnfield Solar Farm Powering Swindon Recycling Centre:

 

 

 

Public Power Solutions (PPS), the wholly owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council (SBC), has energised Barnfield Solar Farm which is directly powering the Swindon Household Waste Recycling Centre’s Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) plant and depot, which will make a substantial saving on its annual energy bills (Reference Public Power Solutions December 2018).

For further information please Click Here


Scottish Power to Use 100% Wind Power After Drax Sale

 

 

Scottish Power will become the first major UK energy company to generate all its electricity from wind power instead of coal and gas, after selling its final gas and hydro stations to Drax.

Chief executive Keith Anderson said it was a “pivotal shift” for the firm.

“We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy. We have closed coal, sold gas and built enough wind to power 1.2 million homes,” he said (Reference BBC News 16/10/18).

For further information please Click Here


Climate Change – Where We Are in Seven Charts and What You Can Do to Help:

 

The UN has warned that the goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels” is in danger because major economies, including the US and the EU, are falling short of their pledges.

But scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the leading international body on global warming – argue the 2C pledge in the 2015 Paris accord didn’t go far enough. The global average temperature rise actually needs to be kept below 1.5C, they say.

So how warm has the world got and what can we do about it? (Reference BBC News 18/04/19)

For further information please Click Here


What Is Fracking and Why Is It Controversial?

Drilling companies suggest trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from underneath parts of the UK through a process known as “fracking”.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock.

Energy firm Cuadrilla has begun fracking in the UK for the first time since the process was halted in 2011 over earth tremor fears. But how does fracking work and why is it controversial? (Reference BBC News 15/10/19)

For further information please Click Here


5 Ways Businesses Can Tackle the Climate Crisis:

 

Small and medium-sized businesses have been estimated to cause 64% of all environmental impact in the EU so collectively adopting measures to reduce energy, waste and water usage will make a significant impact.

Whilst most SMEs recognise they can and should do more to reduce their environmental impact, often owners and managers struggle to find the time and money to invest in energy savings. Some businesses can also be put off by not knowing what actions to take and thinking that they’ll all be expensive (Reference Low Carbon Workspaces 05/01/19).

Click Here for 5 simple steps that most SMEs can take to reduce their environmental impact without breaking the bank.


Local Energy Update – Brought to You by The Centre for Sustainable Energy Communities Team:

Welcome to your May Local Energy Update. This month’s update includes a couple new funding schemes for community buildings, an exciting new wind-energy ownership model, a blog piece from our Powering Up project as well as recent community energy news stories!

  • Start small to power up …

    Read this new blog piece on our progress on the Powering Up project so far which aims to stimulate sustained grassroots action on energy in three deprived communities. The blog talks about methods that were used to spark residents’ interest in a possible energy project.

  • Grants of up to £4,000 available for energy saving measures in community buildings

    Thrive Renewables has launched round 4 of its Community Benefit Programme. A total of around £30,000 will be available for local groups in eligible areas to apply for grants of up to £4,000 for energy efficiency improvements to community buildings and get some free expert advice for zero-cost solutions. Click here to find out more.

  • New wind-energy ownership model 

    A new ownership model has been created by the start-up Ripple Energy to encourage more on-shore wind development in the UK. Click here to find out more.

  • CEE urges suppliers to support community energy after FiT closure

    In the aftermath of the feed-in tariff closure, Community Energy England (CEE) has called for ‘suitable’ tariffs to be offered to community energy by suppliers. Find out more here.

  • Fund to help communities shift towards zero carbon approved  South Cambridgeshire council has approved plans for a new grant fund to be established to help community groups in the district shift towards a zero-carbon future. Click here to read more.


SustFest19 – What Can You Do Now?

The Sustainability Festival has ended – after a fabulous three weeks. As things wrap up for this year, Catherine Ross, the current chair of the festival organising group, reflects on one of the most common questions asked by people coming to events: “But what can I do that really makes a difference?”

Click Here to read her blog on the Sustainable St. Albans website for five things you can do that really help.


Community R4C Is Taking Gloucestershire County Council to Court for Breaking Procurement Law When Renegotiating the Incinerator Contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty:

Our Barrister thinks we have a 60% chance of winning this case. If we do, it will prove that GCC has given illegal state aid to UBB and we can applu for £75m or more to be returned to the public purse. This might just succeed in stopping the incinerator altogether or at least cut short its life burning recyclable material and polluting our county.

The first court hearing is on: Friday 7th June at 11:30 am at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, Court 14 on Floor 3, 2 Redcliffe Street Bristol BS1 6GR

For further information please Click Here


Invitation to a Conference: “What Goes Around, Comes Around” – Transition Toward a Circular Economy of Materials:

Date, Time and Venue: Thursday 13th June 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm in the Angling Academy, Walthamstow Wetlands, 2 Forest Road, London N17 9NH

Size: Target 30-60 participants from across Greater London, especially from community groups in the Transition (Towns) Network UK

Purpose: The aim of this conference is to review the latest advances toward ‘zero waste’ management of valuable materials. This is in response to the sudden, intense public interest in used & surplus plastics, foodstuffs etc.

Urgency: It recognises that community groups especially are under pressure to understand some complex issues and will need to point their members and enquirers to recent sources of information

Format: A series of specialist speakers will provide updates on the best ways for keeping valuable materials in circulation, now and for decades to come. These will each consist of a short talk (15-20 mins.) and Q&A (5-10 mins.)

Facilities: Good restaurant/cafe, exhibits about the venue and seating inside and outside for ‘networking’ among the delegates. Optional tour of the Wetlands Reservoirs & Reserve from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

For event tickets please Click Here

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