Greener UK and Brexit

“The risk to the environment of the latest Brexit deal is high”, according to Greener UK, a coalition of NGOs including Friends of the Earth who are analysing the environmental consequences of Brexit deals and other government policies. See their webpage https://greeneruk.org/ and this 2-page briefing: https://greeneruk.org/…/Greener_UK_October_deal_briefing.pdf .

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BEIS climate emissions analysis

The government produces an annual analysis of climate change emissions, but the final report is not done until a year or two after the reporting year, so the latest full analysis available is for 2017 emissions. There has been some further progress in reductions particularly due to offshore wind coming onstream. The chart shows a very simple summary of the largest emissions sectors. The numbers are from table 5 in this report that explains further: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/776085/2017_Final_emissions_statistics_-_report.pdf The first thing to note is that this just accounts for emissions that happen in the UK, and does not count those that are accounted for overseas due to things we import – particularly meat/dairy, animal fodder and biomass (wood and palm oil etc), which have a major impact due to deforrestation, for example in South America. Most of the UK emissions come from burning fossil fuels, either for transport (27%), electricity generation (24%),[…]

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Effects of temperature rise on Swindon

The BBC recently produced a report on increasing temperatures in towns and cities with predictions up to 2100, and it included Swindon, see here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-985b9374-596e-4ae6-aa04-7fbcae4cb7ee . However it does not elaborate on what that would mean for us, so here are some thoughts. Seemingly small increases in average temperatures over a relatively short timescale would cause huge problems even for places like Swindon, which would not likely be directly affected by sea level rise. London, Bristol and all our coastal towns and cities would be directly affected by substantial sea level rise, causing displacement of people worse than after world war 2 and making Swindon a destination for refugees from these cities within the UK let alone from other countries that would feel the effects of global warming more directly. Increases in extreme weather, both heat in summer and cold in winter, would put pressure on our food supply and[…]

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CHEESE at Penhill – Warm Homes project at the Community Cafe

Tuesday 26th February, 1-3pm at John Moulton Hall, Penhill Drive, Swindon SN2 5DU. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) was at the Penhill community cafe to share the results of the CHEESE thermal image surveys taken from inside a couple of Penhill properties. The findings were discussed as well as ways to reduce fuel bills / conserve energy. Discussion was had as well about how to facilitate that for the local community. Draught-proofing is the most important and cost effective way to save energy in most houses – cold air leaking in through small cracks can replace the warm air in a room or house quite quickly. But finding where the cold air is coming in can be challenging. There is a lot more that can be done. Spreading information is a big part of the process of change. CHEESE (Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts) was started by someone I[…]

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Personal Actions In Context

This chart is a useful illustration to give a quantitative idea of the relative benefits of different personal life choices. Not everything is on there, and of course the relative importance of medium impact actions in an individual case depends on how much travel, energy and food consumed. However for an average household, most of the things that have the biggest effect on climate change and the attendant environmental degradation are represented. It is based on research at Lund University: for more detail see here: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html The main thing missing I think for a typical UK household is halving heat wasted in the home: but the ‘buying green energy’ bar gives an idea of the relative importance. It’s also important to note that ‘buying green energy’ means buying it from a supplier who only invests in green energy, not just using a ‘green tariff’ – see their full report for[…]

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Swindon Council Climate Change Motion – Thursday 24 January 2019

Come to Council to watch our local government debate Swindon’s first Climate Change Motion. On Thursday 24 January 7pm, a motion is being debated by Swindon council at it’s full council meeting. If you feel this is important, it would be very worthwhile to discuss it with your councillors and come to the meeting to observe the debate from the gallery. The details of the meeting and the currently proposed motion are here: https://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=284&MId=9503&Ver=4 Many councils around the world and in the UK are starting to realise the urgency of action to mitigate climate change and the attendant environmental destruction. Bristol for example has recently passed a ‘zero carbon 2030’ motion, and London has followed suit: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/14/bristol-plans-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2030 https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/call-on-mayor-to-declare-climate-emergency# Swindon could be in the vanguard of the transition to a zero-carbon economy, delivering economic benefits to Swindon in terms of new jobs and market opportunities. The motion as currently proposed by[…]

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January Green Drinks – The Tuppenny

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM The Tuppenny, 58-59 Devizes Rd, Swindon SN1 4BD Our monthly pub social, with a New Year flavour. Come and try this lovely little Old Town pub with a good range of drinks, tea/coffee and organic food (though there only seems to be one veggie/vegan option listed on the website) There is no formal agenda: theme this month is what we want to happen in 2019! Please join and share the facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/2056961111065841/, and invite friends. Some may stay after 9pm. Feel free to call – Julian, 07809 122474

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