Join us in co-creating a vision for vibrant & resilient 21st century communities
A great deal has changed across the world in the two years since the summer 2007 when the Centre for Alternative Technology launched the Zero Carbon Britain report. The global economic crisis has now clearly illustrated just what happens if we see problems in the pipeline, and fail to take appropriate action. This moment is unique, never before have we had to face such a complex composite of climate, energy and economic crises. Left unchecked they will synergise, resulting in collapse & dislocation unseen in modern times. But crisis, as always, contains opportunity….
We are now in the process of creating a new report ZeroCarbonBritain:2, to update our work in the light of the recent economic upheaval, and to expand on the detail, answering questions that arose from the first report through synthesising cutting-edge findings from leading researchers from a wide variety of organisations. Due for publication in Spring 2010, this new report will highlight that a great many solutions to climate security are the same as solutions to energy and economic security, whilst also building vibrant, resilient communities.
By learning the hard economic lessons of the past, ZeroCarbonBritain:2 aims to show how we can re-focus our ingenuity on not only tackling climate and energy security, but also getting the nation back to work, forestalling recession, and heading off an escalating balance of payments crisis as North Sea exports tail off and the price of energy imports goes through the roof. ZeroCarbonBritain:2 aims to detail the investments which can deliver real long-term security through creating a new kind of economy, locally resilient, but still active in a global context, rich in quality jobs and reliant on our own indigenous, inexhaustible energy supplies.
During 2009, the ZeroCarbonBritain:2 research programme set out to explore the scale and speed of the transition demanded by our most recent science. We have held meetings with key expert groups from all sectors, exploring how such transitions can actually take place in agriculture, land-use, transport, the built environment, energy, industry etc. These research seminars were followed up with open meetings with Fiery Spirits members and other communities of practice to offer a wider perspective on the issues.
We are now reaching into the Fiery Spirits on-line community for feedback on these draft ‘briefing-papers’, primarily because we recognise the varied expertise the network can offer to this enquiry. Individuals, families, communities and regional authorities have amassed a gold mine of know-how through real-life explorations of the complex interaction between: land use, planning, renewable energy, rational use of energy, food production, buildings, transport, waste management and all aspects of human society.
In addition, CAT hopes you will join us in a community of practice between forward-thinking organisations & first movers enquiring into how communities in the UK and Ireland can see beyond the immediate challenges, and pro-actively develop a new kind of zero carbon economy; stable in the long term, locally resilient, but still active in a global context, rich in quality jobs, a strong sense of purpose and reliant on indigenous, in-exhaustible energy.
The on-line ‘ZeroCarbonBritain:2 Think-tank’ aims to stimulate debate and build consensus over this new and challenging terrain. It would make no sense to play down the scale of the challenge. What is required is a complete overhaul of how we get and use energy and natural resources. But in a time of rising unemployment and falling social cohesion rising to such a challenge is precisely what is needed. Many of the jobs created would be solid ones of ongoing worth as they build the infrastructure, would cultivate the skills and build the enterprises that will be in increasing international demand over the next few decades.
Through developing a common, coherent vision ZeroCarbonBritain:2 offers a process for integrating detailed knowledge and experience from a wide range of disciplines into a single framework that will be clearly and effectively articulated to endorse urgent action across all sectors of society during 2010. I have explained more in my Fiery Spirits blog “Zero Carbon Britain - the next steps”.
On behalf of the ZCB team, I would warmly invite you to read any, or all of the PDF briefing papers posted for this group, and to utilise the Fiery Spirits group to initiate a collaborative enquiry into the topics they contain. Direct feedback by commenting on the group site is welcome until the end of January 2010, after which the final editing must begin, but we hope that good conversations and on-line discussions will continue after that, as we move towards the dissemination phase.
Project Director - ZeroCarbonBritain:2