Friday, February 3, 2012

Civil society leaders call for a new energy future

Justin Woolford of The Change Co., on behalf of The Co-operative, introduces the inaugural meeting of a new group of civil society champions who today launch their vision for community energy in the UK with Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The group has been brought together by The Co-operative, Forum for the Future and Carbon Leapfrog and coincides with The Co-operative's launch of their new Community Energy Challenge. 
It's the UN Year of Co-operatives and in the UK, things are starting to happen. The week before last, the Prime Minister announced the Government's intention to simplify the law around co-operatives. Today, a coalition of civil society leaders representing over 12 million members launch a vision for community energy in the UK. The first, intended to make it as easy to set up shop as a co-operative as it is to start any other form of business, is about community empowerment. The second, designed to help kick-start a clean energy revolution across the UK, is about community power. 
Whether we realise it or not, our communities are at an energy crossroads. And if we don't step up now and grasp the opportunity to shape our own energy futures in a turbine-hugging embrace, someone else (big oil and big gas) will do it for us. The choice is clear. Either we allow out-of-town prospectors to 'frack' around with our landscape and drill for shale gas, or we join our friends in Sussex saying we won't be druv - and maybe, just maybe, build a frack free future.
But make no mistake, this is about much more than just a green climate-friendly future - it's about 'energy democracy': a changed relationship between people and energy, from one where we are at the mercy of large profit-making energy providers and the vagaries of the market, to one where we control, generate and benefit from our own energy supply.

photo by KaiChanVong
read more about energy:

Germany Sets Aside $130 Billion for Renewable Energy

Changing Mindsets on Sustainable Transportation

Climate, Energy and Urbanization A Guide on Strategies, Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Development in the Desert


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