Hackney Energy is up and running again. Government cuts to community solar schemes knocked us off track for a while. But we are going for an Energy Advice Shop in Hackney and crowding a solar scheme in the borough – just for starters.
Government cuts to the solar industry already triggered over 12,000 job losses. Now, the Treasury is planning a huge tax increase on the 23,000 commercial rooftop installations in England — thousands of offices, schools and hospitals, many of which installed solar to help save money on their energy bills. You can sign the Petition here
Try this. Type the following question into Google’s search engine: Is global warming…. After the first 6 letters, Google helpfully offers you these choices: Is global warming real? And, Is global warming a hoax? Even worse than the biased question is the stream of ‘fake news’ and climate sceptic websites you are directed to. How did the climate-denying right dominate Google’s space so effectively? It’s a bun fight out there on the web, and climate science is losing hands down.
Join us next Saturday afternoon, 10 December, at Hackney Town Hall for a couple of hours of open air debates and take on the populists denying climate change, who claim to speak in the name of ‘real people’ and rubbish climate science.
The aviation industry ‘has judged itself too important to make its full contribution’ to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Instead, it’s relying on every other industry to cut their emissions, according to the highly respected Tyndall Centre for Climate Change research.
19 September, Divest Hackney will lobby the six members of the Hackney Council Pension Fund to sell off its £42 million shareholding in fossil fuel companies. There’s a strong case for action – as this blog argues – both financial and environmental. Deutsche Bank reports that companies respecting environmental and social issues ‘constantly outperform the market.’ While fossil fuel shares represent a fraction of the pension fund’s £1.1 billion assets, there’s evidence of corrupt, unsustainable or unethical business activities in this portfolio that really doesn’t sit easily with the council’s sustainable communities’ strategy.
Repowering, Community Energy England, Energy for London and 10:10 are holding a new community energy event on 8th September, 9am to 1pm at The City Centre – 80 Basinghall Street, London, EC2V 5AR.
Update: Divest Hackney – 19 September!
On 19 September Divest Hackney is challenging Hackney Council’s pension’s committee to sell its shareholdings in fossil fuel companies. If we’re heading for a heated debate in the council chamber, think of this: 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. A new risk assessment from the independent Committee on Climate Change says the threat level is rising, and more action is required from local and national government. So what risks are we looking at? And is there a plan?
Globally, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the UK. Urgent action is required to address climate-related risks. So how reckless was Theresa May’s to abolish the energy and climate change department (DECC)? Just a few days earlier the government ‘promised’ to meet a tough new target to cut our greenhouse gas emissions – by 57% by 2030. Although recommended by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), at best the target would be difficult to meet this target – and that was before they scrapped the energy department. So now what? If government can’t be trusted to tackle the climate crisis, isn’t it time we did so? A time for energy democracy?
Could Hackney Council do this? Swindon Borough Council has raised £1.8m for the UK’s first council solar bond a month ahead of its deadline. It’s a landmark project that could kick-start a new wave of community energy projects.
Paul Hampton’s new book opens with an arresting metaphor: “If the owl of Minerva takes flight only as dusk begins to fall, then human society may have already missed the opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change.” Minerva is the Roman name for the Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Paul writes in the hope that it is not too late, bringing a strong conviction that working people and their trade unions can play a vital role in global political efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.