Earth Strike (global climate strike) in Swindon

Over 300 people congregated in Swindon to take part in the first global climate strike aka Earth Strike. Demonstrations taking place in an estimated 185 countries all over the world. People from all walks of life, young and old, came together to demand proper representation from governments, for vital legislation and action to address climate change. Many people feel that they have no choice but to rebel against governments whose actions are deemed to be inept and indicative of care for profit and power over people, animals and planet. These events were planned to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York on the 23rd September 2019, to pressure world leaders into taking appropriate steps to address climate change. The event in Swindon started in Regent Circus with speeches from organisers and local campaigners / activists. Then over 300 people set off down Princes Street, walking through town[…]

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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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Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed. This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further: ‘Local Plan Review: Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come. A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[…]

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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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Nude Foods in The Core, and next steps for Swindon Zero Waste Initiative.

The following was released by the Swindon Zero Waste Initiaitve on the 28th May 2019: ‘Our zero-waste shop, Nude Foods, has now been open for 6 weeks. Thanks to all who have come to shop and support us so far. If you haven’t tried us yet, please do. We hope to see you soon! In realising our project, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kris Talikowski, the owner of The Core. Allowing us a free space in his Juice Bar has meant the difference between reality and just a dream! If you visit our shop, please do consider partaking of some of the wonderful healthy juices and snacks available at The Core. Well worth a try and a nice way to show our thanks for the support! Also, a huge thank you and appreciation to all our fantastic volunteers. We wouldn’t be here without you. Please do keep[…]

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The Time Is Now – collective lobbying event at Parliament

The climate crisis has become more prolific in the news recently aided by the Extinction Rebellion protests. These were followed by the publication of the UK Committee on Climate Change report – which proposed net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and the UN’s assessment of how quickly we are losing natural ecosystems on which we all depend. You can read more in these articles by the Committee on Climate Change and the UN. According to both sources, ‘transformative changes’ are urgently needed. Those changes are possible but we need everyone to play their part, including governments around the world. So here’s one thing we can all do: ask our MP to support the proposals of the Committee on Climate Change for a zero carbon UK. On 26th June some of us will be going to Westminster to meet our MPs. Do join us! You can register through the[…]

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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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Healthy Homes: DIY Energy & Money Saving Session

Organised by SCAN, this is an introductory session on the basics of DIY Energy & Home Money Saving led by local Energy Efficiency specialist Mike Neate of ECO-DC The session is on Sunday 27th January 2019 from 9.30 to 12:00 at Savernake Social Hall, Savernake Street, Swindon The demonstations and issues explained will include: How heat is lost Draft-proofing / air-tightness Condensation and ventilation Cold spots: cold bridging and insulation DIY opportunity to have a go A few spaces are still available, so if you would like to attend please confirm your interest via our contact page by Friday 18th January. In addition to this free “taster session”, we are intending to stage a follow up short course – probably 4 “hands on” sessions lasting 2.5 hours each later this year. Looking forward to seeing you on Sun. 27th.Gerry, Lucas and Anna, SCAN Steering Group

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Climate Cafe – ‘Powering Up’

We heard from Ellie Stevens of the Centre for Sustainable Energy on their ‘Powering Up!’ project which looks at Building Energy Resilience in low income communities. “What happens to low-income households whose energy bills suddenly increase? When energy prices rise dramatically or families experience a change in circumstances such as an elderly relative living at home? And how can such households and their neighbourhoods be supported to become more ‘energy resilient’? These are questions that the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is exploring through its Powering Up! project, working in three low-income communities – Penhill in Swindon, Druffyn in Newport and Hamp in Bridgwater.  “We don’t want any community to be left behind – community energy can have huge social and financial benefits; it can bring people with common concerns together, generate income towards other projects and lift people out of fuel poverty. Through this project we are applying community[…]

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