On 15 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.
“Energy democracy” is in the national interest
If ever there was a time for fresh thinking on our energy system! Great new report from Greenwich Uni sets out the environmental and democratic case – essential reading for community and trade union energy campaigners.
Make your way to FoE Hackney green hustings, with candidates for the North-East seat on London Assembly – Hackney, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. Sain Mattias Centre, 101 Dalston Lane E8!
How much longer can we tolerate market-based climate change policies that clearly aren’t working? This is the central challenge in a new report from the New York-based Trade Unions for Energy Democracy , which puts carbon market under its intense spotlight.
Labour’s shadow energy secretary, Lisa Nandy argues that tackling climate change is “the biggest collective challenge we face as humanity.” Speaking in Hackney, she says that Labour’s challenge was to “formulate a plan to get us through to climate safety,” giving people control back over their lives.
Osborne’s fossilised Budget betrays community energy
The Chancellor said he would “put the next generation first” in his Budget strategy, yet today’s Budget speech ignored climate change and the Paris Agreement to tackle global warming. There was nothing to reboot investment in community-based renewable energy projects, badly hit by his own Treasury-led cuts.
Read about Hackney Energy plans for 2016 at HE 2016
At the last two HE meetings we have expored various ideas for Hackney Energy in 2016. All agree that what we really need is a clear goal or two – specific projects that we as a group can take forward, either as Hackney Energy, or (as with Banister House solar co-operative) where we offer our support and resources to another community energy project in the borough.
A message from the Banister interns to Mr Cameron:
A Banister House Solar Message from Tor Kristoffersen on Vimeo.
Hackney Energy is a community group which supports the creation of community owned renewable energy projects.
Banister goes live!
We are happy to announce the Banister House estate project is now completed. It’s been a huge amount of work by Hackney Council, Repowering London, Banister House Solar and HE, raising £142,000 to install 100kW of solar PV.