We’re proud to be a media partner of the London based ‘HUB Eco Series’ which is an environmental debate series based in London, UK. On this page you will find the upcoming events and blogs about the events.
These are the questions that authors Duncan Clark and Mike Berners-Lee attempt to answer in their new book ‘The Burning Question’, and we are delighted that Duncan Clark will be joining us for a discussion at our upcoming HUB Eco Series event at HUB Islington on the 25th of June: The Burning Question: Why are we failing to tackle climate change?
The issue is complex and the authors explore and evaluate everything from behaviour change to economic growth and fossil fuel investments, in which the world’s richest countries are gambling with the livelihoods of billions of people. Bill McKibben, activist and founder of 350.org, suggests in his Foreword to the book (also featured in a recent Rolling Stone Magazine article) that the climate problem can be narrowed down to three significant numbers: two degrees, the number agreed on by 191 of the world’s countries, that we must limit warming to, to have a chance of avoiding runaway climate change; 575 gigatons, the amount of carbon we can continue to pour into the atmosphere to stay below two degrees of warming; and finally the last and most terrifying number of all, 2795 gigatons, the amount of proven fossil fuel reserves which are now being traded on international markets and of which we can only burn a fifth, if we are to stay below two degrees.
Event review: A brighter, cleaner, community owned energy future IS possible
|The Panel. Photo: Simon Scarfe.|
Tuesday 29th of January saw the launch of the HUB Eco Series, an event series hosted by HUB Islington in London, with the intention of creating positive debate around the key national and international environmental issues of our time. The Eco Series is a collaborative initiative between myself and green campaigner Kirstie Wielandt.
Tuesday’s launch event was devoted to the subject of community energy, and featured a distinguished speaker panel consisting of Agamemnon Otero, Founder of Repowering South London and Co-Director of Brixton Energy, Howard Johns, Founder of Ovesco and Southern Solar, Clare Hierons, CEO of Carbon Leapfrog and Nigel Farren, Founder of Energise Barnet.
The HUB Islington venue, on the fourth floor of an atmospheric converted Victorian warehouse behind Angel Islington tube station, was packed to the rafters with 70 guests from across the HUB’s London networks, local transition town groups, industry experts and environmental activists.
|Agamemnon Otero & Howard Johns. Photo Simon Scarfe.|
Howard Johns of Southern Solar (also Brixton Energy’s installer), highlighted that Germany has over 600 energy co-ops (over 50% of Germany’s renewable energy is community owned) compared to only 23 such initiatives in the UK. He said that, in terms of required capital it was far easier to get a solar project of the ground and reiterated that community energy initiatives were absolutely central to creating the energy revolution we so badly need.
Clare Hierons of Carbon Leapfrog, praised the success of all panelists and posed the question whether there were simply more people interested in energy co-ops in Germany or whether there was some UK ‘blockage’ of sorts. She feels we need to reach out beyond our established green networks and engage more people in discussions around the issue. She appealed to anyone who is interested in even exploring the concept, to contact Carbon Leapfrog so they could jointly explore how many of them can actually we make happen.
|Clare Hierons & Nigel Farren. Photo: Simon Scarfe.|
Nigel Farren of Energise Barnet, who also sits on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) community energy board, explained how he set up Energise Barnet as he felt his local council was not doing enough to improve energy efficiency. He believes a community energy group or co-op needs to be run with a business mentality as all kinds of skilled people will need to be involved. He feels that a major challenge is that initiatives are often started by volunteers who will actually need to work on the project as full time staff in the long term, and that its important to bear this in mind right from the start.
After the discussion, people mobilised and mingled in local groups to discuss how to enable local energy group start ups; we greatly look forward to hearing what comes of these initiatives. The evening’s discussions reiterated that decentralised energy is a key to a more open and competitive energy market, wrestling some of the power away from the ‘Big Six’, and that there is a hunger and growing need for a rapid deployment of community energy in the UK. Pioneering projects such as Brixton Energy have lead the way and shown what is possible; the more community energy initiatives that sprout up, the easier it will be for other newcomers to follow.
We’re thrilled with the launch of The Hub Eco Series; Tuesday’s event showed that there is a strong passion for tackling the variety of environmental issues we are facing and we look forward to the next event in due course.