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Camden Climate Action Network (CamdenCAN) is a network of individuals, community groups, voluntary organisations and businesses in Camden taking action on climate change. We’re passionate about cutting Camden’s carbon footprint down to size.

Taking CamdenCAN forward

I am always re-energised by other’s resolutions – the huge increase in the number of people cycling to work in the first week in January has inspired me to keep cycling despite the vagaries of weather and meeting no less than eight new members at Camden Friends of the Earth January meeting is leading to an exciting new campaign (of which more next newsletter). And so it is that I am thinking also about CamdenCAN’s future and what impact we can have in reducing Camden’s carbon footprint. This newsletter, our website and twitter account are part of connecting people and organisations in Camden and inspiring them to do more. CamdenCAN can be more than just an online presence though. Last year we developed a manifesto for sustainability to which both the Labour & Green parties here in Camden signed up to demonstrating the impact of bringing together local organisations when asking for change. With both existing MPs for Holborn & St Pancras and Hampstead & Kilburn constituencies standing down we have a fantastic opportunity to ask our local MPs to focus on climate change. I am looking at the possibility of holding a local hustings focussing on climate change and other sustainability issues and I’d be interested to hear from you if you’d like to get involved either as an individual or as a group. Finally, as many of you will know, Prashant has recently moved to Hong Kong. It’s been great fun working with him on CamdenCAN and I wanted to thank him for all his support over the last year. His departure leaves a gap and I’d...

£6,000 towards energy efficiency measures?

Camden has teamed up with five north London boroughs to offer grants of up to £6,000 towards the cost of energy efficiency measures. The project also offers a subsidised Green Deal Assessment and expert advice to support you through the process, from identifying measures through to installation.  In addition, for those who live in a conservation area, Camden has recently published new energy efficiency planning guidance for conservation areas to inform residents who are considering making energy efficiency improvements to their properties.  Smart Homes grants are available to home owners, landlords and private tenants on a first-come, first-served basis for a limited time only. For more information visit the website www.smarthomes.house or call the Smart Homes advice line on 020 7527 4736 (Monday to Friday,...

Invest in solar energy and reduce your carbon footprint

Post by Micaela Torterola, GreenMatch   Reducing the carbon footprint has become a common challenge for most governments around the world and especially in Europe. However, we should not let all the responsibility to governments and local authorities. Why not get brave and start reducing the carbon footprint at home? Luckily, there is a lot to do to reduce your emissions, from simple and “free” solutions to greater investments that usually require more time and money. You should first take some minutes and think about what you do every day, what you buy, how you get from one place to another, where do the things that you consume come from? Not that you should change all of it, but yes there are some alterations that will have a very significant impact on your carbon emissions. The most popular is limiting your car usage and any other mean of transport that relies on fossil fuels. Why not bike or walk instead of taking the bus or using the car for short distances? It is not only greener, but also healthier! Walk more, bike more… Something else that you should start doing is paying more attention to what you buy. Try not to buy industrialized food or products that have been transported a long distance to reach you. Stick to local produce, and avoid consuming fruits and vegetables that are not from the season and from your place. Also, although this might sound a bit too obvious, it is something that most people forget. You should keep an eye on your household’s use of electricity, making sure you use lights and...

The ugly side of fracking

In response to our government’s blinkered race for fracking, while snubbing the latest public opinion polls (74% against fracking under people’s homes without their permission, and 80% in favour of renewable energy), Camden Friends of the Earth wanted to visually capture how people FEEL about fracking – since their thoughts don’t seem to count. And who can dispute one’s feelings? So they’ve started asking the public to share with us their deepest fracking feelings and so far the response has been staggering. We came across many people who feel so strongly against fracking that they were well prepared to openly express their feelings in front of a camera no matter how ugly they appeared; intimidated, fearful, angry, shocked, disgusted, horrified, sad, shattered, furious, horrified, appalled, distressed… And its not just the widespread public opposition to fracking that our government chooses to ignore, they have also disregarded the most reliable scientific expertise on earth when it comes to dealing with global warming (IPCC) who have highly recommended leaving fossil fuels in the ground. 64% of England is under consideration for controversial fracking by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This includes most of London and the entire borough of Camden. It may not seem likely to happen in Camden, but unless we get a firm commitment from our council to block any licences for drilling in the borough, we cannot be certain that it won’t happen in our own backyard. Even the unthinkable scenario of fracking in Hampstead Heath might become a reality after our government recently announced that planning permission may still be granted in National Parks and...

Exciting few weeks on the energy efficiency front

Camden, along with five other North London boroughs have secured £6.6 million of central Government funding for domestic energy efficiency in an attempt to kick start the flailing Green Deal policy following the lack of demand for the two flagship energy efficiency policies: Green Deal and ECO . Home owners who install solid wall insulation (and optionally other energy efficiency) measures will qualify for up to £6000 of cash back. The home owner has to have a green deal inspection to identify the most appropriate energy efficiency measures, but there is no obligation to take on the Green Deal finance deal.  See the council website for details. The Chester Balmore development has just opened on Chester Road in Dartmouth Park. The 50 homes – half social housing and half for sale commercially – have been built to exacting Passivhaus standards. The homes do not have or need heating – relying on triple glazing, excellent insulation (with mechanical ventilation to ensure air quality) and solar gain through the north and south facing windows. Greg Barker the Decc minister for energy efficiency did not survive the reshuffle. He was genuinely passionate about energy efficiency and micro-renewables and did much in his four year term of office to promote this agenda within Government. He has been replaced by Amber Barker. The Minister for energy Michael Fallon has been replaced by Matthew Hancock who appears to be doing several other jobs...

Birds, bees, butterflies & worms

It started with RSPB’s big garden birdwatch in which nearly half a million people took part earlier in the year.  Then the bees & butterflies got in on the act – you still have time to count bees through Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count and butterflies as part of the Butterfly Foundations Big Butterfly Count . But i’m going to be taking part in my clear favourite (although perhaps the most involved) – counting the humble earthworm in the Big Worm Dig supported by Riverford.  This critical creature doesn’t have quite the same profile as birds, bees & butterflies but is an absolutely critical part of ensuring the health of our soils. So when you’ve finished counting winged creatures turn your attention to something below your...

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