Brexit may be this month’s news and the pandemic this and next year’s, but energy and carbon will be making headlines for a long time to come.
It is estimated that annual additions of solar technology globally will almost triple by 2030 from today’s levels, setting new records for deployment each year after 2022 according to the World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency.
Now government funding is a simple concept. There is a system to collect it and a system to distribute it. Where the concept idea becomes complicated, as we all know, is in practice when a range of separate taxes, duties, rates and other circumstances are fed into the model and it’s the same on the distribution side. We don’t all receive the same benefits either as individuals, businesses, regions or councils.
In a new BBC film, David Attenborough lays out just how perilous the state of nature really is, why this matters for everyone who shares this planet, and what needs to change. It takes a different tone to previous documentaries, in that it shows the honest truth of habitat loss and the destruction that humans are causing across the planet and calls for major changes in the way our economies work with a greater focus on both planetary boundaries and addressing global inequality. The film makes clear the negative impact that species loss has on humans.
At APSE Energy we have mentioned the idea of scale before - the need to act at scale to tackle the impacts of climate change. Small scale won’t make a dent in a big issue. The point is, we will see others doing things we can’t imagine now. To what extent should your local authority be part of change happening at that scale and do you have the appetite for that type and scale of change?
The Climate Assembly was set up by a group of committees in Parliament in 2019 to help the UK tackle climate change. The outcomes and the key recommendations from the assembly provide insight into the opinions of a representative group of the UK public. It is therefore vital that the government examines and uses the recommendations effectively to progress on climate change. This learning is also relevant to local authorities to help guide their climate actions towards meeting the net zero challenge.
Keeping the debate local with local evidence, local projects and local benefits for local people is one approach to avoid getting lost in the bigger picture whilst continuing to make an impact.
Are we as local authorities doing the right things in terms of climate change and energy?
Tell your colleagues that solar and wind is not new and should be embraced, that the council probably has the assets to take advantage of it, that if they need help they can get it from APSE Energy and the clincher - that it will generate some income as well as electricity, probably large amounts of money.
Climate emergencies have been declared and will come back to the top of the news list. Concentrating on cycle ways is a necessary part of addressing climate change but we also need to keep the big picture in mind. We can’t fall into the trap of working on one problem and ignoring another important one. By all means make smaller changes…but make them alongside the bigger stuff.