Radio 4 afternoon play “getting to zero”. A play based on CAT’s report Zero Carbon Britain

Click here to listen to the play on BBC iPlayer

GETTING TO ZERO By Sarah Woods With George Monbiot, Paul Allen and Peter Harper.
Have you got what it takes to get to zero carbon? Our expert panel set one average family the task of eliminating their carbon footprint… and living with the consequences. Originally broadcast in March 2009.

Sue ….. Kate Ashfield Ian ….. Don Gilet Chloe ….. Poppy Lee Friar Jack ….. Ryan Watson Bill ….. Malcolm Tierney Meter ….. Jonathan Tafler Narrator ….. Janice Acquah Delivery Man ….. Stephen Hogan
Producer/Director: Jonquil Panting.

Time for a Zero Carbon Britain Day -July 16th 2011

Centre for Alternative calls for Zero Carbon Britain Day on July 16th 2011

CAT is to join with 100’s of other organizations across the UK calling for July 16th to be a Zero Carbon Britain day. In June 2010 CAT produced the second version of it’s ground breaking report zero carbon Britain 2030. The report lays out how we can reduce our carbon emissions to zero using existing technologies whilst maintaining a high sense of well being. As the threat of climate change increases and energy shortages loom it is vital the world takes urgent action. The Zero Carbon Britain day being organised by Campaign Against Climate Change and others is calling on people around the UK to promote the goal of a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Climate Change said:
What the government is doing is piecemeal, inadequate and in some ways counterproductive. We need a more coherent, energetic and determined approach to reducing emissions – and a bolder more ambitious national target. We need Zero Carbon by 2030”

Activities and events include:

•    Urging MP’s to  sign Early Day Motion 853 which calls for Zero Carbon Britain by 2030.

•    Workshops focused on the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 Report produced by the Centre for Alternative Technology, (CAT) which outlines a practical, well researched plan for reaching a Zero carbon economy by 2030.

•    Cycle rides, picnics and photo opportunities
Bruce Heagerty Zero Carbon Britain Communications Officer said;
“Every day we do any number of things without being aware of the greenhouse gases that are given off as a result of them. We drive to work, to the shops, to see friends, go to the cinema, club or gym. All of these normal things contribute to rising levels of greenhouse gases. We are organizing this day to highlight ways in which we can decarbonise.”
Events around the country include a demonstration in Bristol, a Zero Carbon Britain picnic at Drax power station, workshops, photo stunts, a beach party in London, actions in Manchester city centre, ZCB banner in the sea, cycle ride to the house of local MP, sustainable Guernsey, unveiling of new zero carbon britain.

For more information please contact bruce.heagerty@cat.org.uk

Meeting with the education department. From Zero Carbon Britain to Zero Carbon Europe?

We are usually very busy with lots of different schools visiting the CAT site for tours and teaching. However, we also manage to put some time aside to get together as a team and both report back on some of the projects we have been involved in and share games and ideas for new activities we could run.

In our last meating, Jo reported back on his trip to Portugal where he ran a session on Zero Carbon Britain with people from the arts industry. Ann told us about a project she has been leading on working with several of the local schools to develop new teaching resources about sustainable buildings for them to use in the classroom. My contribution was to talk about a trip I made to Germany where I also ran a session on Zero Carbon Britain… with a twist.

In Germany I was helping to run a seminar about Climate Change and media campaigning with 27 young people from 9 different countries across Europe. In one of the session I started by talking about Zero Carbon Britain and then, using a big map of Europe, we tried to create a vision of what a Zero Carbon Europe might look like. This was a great activity because by pooling our collective knowledge of the resources that were available in each country we were able to get everyone involved in creating a really positive vision for the future.

Join a guided tour of CAT or a Zero Carbon Britain talk during your Easter holidays

Between the 16th of April and the 1st of May, there will be daily tours of CAT and talks about Zero Carbon Britain that you can join during your visit to CAT.

Guided tours of CATMeet at 2pm by the lake.

Make the most of your day and get a personal insight into the Centre for Alternative Technology on this one-hour stroll around the site.

Discover CAT’s vision for a Zero Carbon FutureDaily at 12pm

A bite size whizz through CATs 368 page renewable energy strategy. Find out CATs vision for a zero carbon future – what does this mean for transport, agriculture, houses, lifestyles and jobs?

An opportunity to find out more, and have your say.
A full copy of the new report is available as a free pdf download at www.zerocarbonbritain.org

cat

2000 people call for a zero carbon britain by 2030

Saturday 4th December 8.30am

The day started just after eight am with a telephone interview on what we are doing for the march in London to Radio Shropshire. Although the questions were clearly aimed to be very challenging (i.e. “but what ever you do won’t people just object to it?”), I was pleased to be allowed enough time to answer in full. Now there is just time to collect my thoughts before the first presentation of the day. I have been asked to present Zero Carbon Britain at the start of Campaign Against Climate Change’s bicycle rally at Lincoln Inn’s Fields behind Holborn.

addressing climate march
addressing climate march

Saturday 4th December 10.36am

Arrived at Lincoln Inn’s Fields park around 9.30. I began to think it was strange that there was no one about. Then I saw a large flock of fluorescent-coated cyclists circling the perimeter. I immediately went over to join them, but as I approached I realised they were all police cyclists. However soon after that there was the sound of distant music and the cycle convoy appeared. An array of cyclists on all sorts of strange and wonderful machines then began arriving from all directions. Clearly there was not as many as the organisers were expecting, but there had been a week of ice and snow, and those who were there were in good spirits. Aided by a cycle-powered amplifier I presented a brief overview of the history, purpose and findings of the Zero Carbon Britain report. Everyone seemed very pleased to hear about it. It’s always re-assuring when people come up to you at the end of a talk and thank you for what you are doing. Anyway, it was then time to head to Marble Arch by tube to find the rest of the Zero Carbon Britain team and get ready for the march.

Saturday 4th December 12.25pm

There must be somewhat over a thousand of us assembled at Hyde Park Corner ready to march off through London towards Parliament. But before we go, we are assembling into a huge 2030 shape at the foot of the watchful eye of a cherry picker full of photo-journalists. Everyone seems in good spirits and the police are being very polite and most helpful. A sub-crowd is gathering rapidly around a Hari Krishna trailer that is giving away free vege-curry and rice, which is much appreciated. As the march gets underway the Hari’s break out into a kind of ‘mandolin steam-punk’ version of their usual chats – sounds great but a totally new one on me!

Saturday 4th December 2.10pm

After a very peaceful and well-received march across the capital, the houses of Parliament are now in site. I must say it is amazing to look upon a veritable sea of Zero Carbon Britain 2030 placards and banners. I can see Alex and few others taking photos and video. We have taken the CAT banner up towards the front, and are handing out cards to the public explaining about the report and how they can download a copy. I have just heard the loud hailers crew doing a “What do we want? – Zero Carbon Britain!” call and response. I remember a few years ago at an early project meeting a few of us discussing whether we would ever hear it being called on a demo, and it really warms my heart to hear it come true. Clearly there are not as many people here as with previous climate rallies, but calling for a positive vision of what we actually want has added a different feel to the day.

over 2000 people marched through london
over 2000 people marched through london

Saturday 4th December 2.30pm

We arrived outside Parliament to the sound of Seize the Day. The speakers included Caroline Lucas MP and one of my long-standing hero’s Michael Meacher MP – one of the most honest and dedicated politicians I have ever met. Then it was my turn, just as a stepped up to the stage an official looking person said politely, “you have three minutes”. These minutes seemed to pass very very quickly, but I think I got most of my points in and people seemed to get the point and were clearly excited about downloading the report. Then a few more speakers took the stage including my good friend Ben Brangwyn from Transition Network. I think the day went well!!

Saturday 4th December 21.02pm

The train as far as Birmingham New Street, was, as always, swift, comfortable and on time. My next train from Birmingham to Machynlleth was standing room only, due to an earlier cancelled service from Shrewsbury. There was a bit more space after Wolverhampton, but within ten minutes of setting off it stopped suddenly. Then after an announcement they were trying to find the cause of the problem, it proceeded towards Telford at about 10 miles per hour. I think I am going to be very late home, but I am on a train and it’s moving; and for that I am always grateful!

Saturday 4th December 21.24pm

I am almost back in Machynlleth now. What a week! Thank you for travelling with me. I really love my job, I find it most engaging and exhilarating and the only way I know of staying sane in such insane times. But before I sign off as this week’s “Face of CAT Facebook”, I would just like to add a note of thanks to the ever-so-hardworking Kim Bryan, CAT’s media officer who has collected all my late night ‘on the road emails’ and images, diligently up-loading them to the CAT site. I have really enjoyed sharing a week of my life with you all, and am now looking forward to a restful Sunday at the CAT Christmas Fayre!

Good night…….

Paul Allen

External Relations CAT

more ways to support zero carbon britain 2030

It’s been a great week so far being the CAT face in facebook and I have enjoyed sharing the zero carbon road trip with you- we will be tweeting from the climate change demo in London but none of us has an iphone- so no facebook updates until its over and we can get the pictures on line- follow us on twitter @centre_alt_tech

Remember there are loads of things you can do online to support the zero carbon Britain by 2030 project

– Change your profile picture to the zcb2030 logo

-Sign on to our statement of support here

-Download and send a copy of the zerocarbonbritain 2030 report to the people you think should read it- theyworkforyou has links to all MP’s/MEP’s etc

Taking Action for a Zero Carbon Britain 2030

by Paul Allen

Take online action to support the call for a zero carbon britain by 2030, change your profile picture to this

This Saturday thousands of people will join together in London to call for a zerocarbonbritain by 2030- I will be speaking at the rally echoing calls of many others that the time to act is now- the planet can’t wait any longer. If you can’t make it London and join us on behind the zerocarbon britain 2030 banner than please support us online. Change your facebook status to the zerocarbonbritain logo and join  for the weekend and take online action to  say to all that the science says we must, the technology says we can, it’s time to say we will.

March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain
Saturday December 4th

Time table of Events
National Climate March 2010
Start: 04 Dec 2010,
Where: Central London

Part of a Global Day of Action on climate on the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Cancún, Mexico.

Challenge the government to take the action we need to meet the climate threat.
12 noon: Assemble at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park.

For coaches and transport to the demo from your locality check e-mail info@campaigncc.org

Timetable:4th-dec-graphic-rgbflat
10.30 am Protest Bike ride assembles at Lincoln’s Inn Fields – to join the main protest at Hyde Park later. See here for further details and route map.

11.00 am Climate Service at the Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, W1H 7AH organised by Christian Ecology Link, see here.

12.00 noon Assemble on North Carriage Drive (just west of Speaker’s Corner), Hyde Park (Marble Arch tube)

12.00 – 1.00 pm Help us spell out a message for Zero Carbon by 2030 – with hundreds of people in a photo taken from above in Hyde Park. Get there by 12 noon prompt to ensure your place in the photo and to give us time to get the best photo! See further here.

Zero Carbon March to Parliament
via Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall.

2.30 pm: Climate Emergency Rally outside Parliament. Speakers to include Caroline Lucas MP (leader, Green Party), John McDonnell MP (Labour), Michael Meacher MP (Labour), Andy Atkins (Director, Friends of the Earth), Maria Souviron (Bolivian ambassador), Paul Allen (Centre for Alternative Technology, zerocarbonBritain2030 report), Tony Kearns (assistant Gen Sec, Communication Workers Union), Ben Brangwyn (co-founder Transition Towns), John Stewart (chair, AirportWatch), Sophie Allain (Ratcliffe 20, Climate Camp).
Tea, coffee, soup etc. will be served by the Brixton Tea Party.

5.00 pm: Afterparty at The Enterprise Pub, Red Lion Street, Holborn. See here for more details.
The failure of the international Talks in Copenhagen doesn’t mean the threat of catastrophic Climate Change has got any less grave or less urgent. Don’t let them think last year’s big climate demo was just a ‘one-off wonder’. Tell them we need urgent action NOW and take to government a message and vision for a Zero Carbon Britain that won’t just stop with this demo but that we can build on afterwards.

And remember building a Zero Carbon Britain means Climate Jobs Now: we have a positive vision not only for addressing the global threat of climate catastrophe but also for the economic crisis.

March with us for…
Climate Action and Climate Justice….

my zcb road trip in sub zero temperatures

Tuesday 30th November 10am

Despite the snow and ice I have just had confirmation by phone that the weeks travels are going ahead. I am now about to embark the first leg of my journey, from Machynlleth to Cardiff to attend the first meeting of Science Advisory Council for Wales

Machynlleth train station
Machynlleth train station

The role of the Council is to advise the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales and through him the First Minister and the Welsh Assembly Government, on a broad range of scientific issues and policies that will help address the challenges Wales faces, support the economy and improve quality of life.

This brief crosses very closely our work at . Through our Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report, we have attempted to identify our key challenges and to develop a numerical scenario for how we can meet them, using a wide deployment of currently mature energy technologies. CAT is also committed to public engagement in the science of sustainability, helping many people young and old see that studying the core science, technology engineering and mathematics subjects need not to be at odds with our desires to protect the environment, in fact they are essential to achieve it.

Meeting Professor John Harries ( Head of Scientific Advisory Council) at CAT last week
Meeting Professor John Harries ( Head of Scientific Advisory Council) at CAT last week

Tuesday 30th November 2pm

Arrived in Cardiff and am spending a little time reading over all the relevant papers in advance of my two day meeting. I am pleased to see that a ‘low-carbon Wales’ features as a key priority in both the economic and academic strategies. The question is how can this be turned into action on the ground, and at what pace. The events unfolding around me as I travel re-enforce the need for urgency. This week, world leaders are heading for the next round of the UN climate negotiations in Cancun. Unless long industrialised nations can set real lead in moving away from fossil fuels, the majority world countries will be unable to sign up to the international agreement we so urgently need.

In addition, this really cold weather reminds me just how dependent we have become on abundant cheap fossil fuels. During the cold snap in January this year UK oil and gas consumption reached an all time high. Yet our North Sea oil production reached its peak in 1999 and is now in terminal decline. If we have a cold snap in 2020 or 2030 the North Sea reserves will be all but gone and we will be dependant on imports from far away places like Qatar, the former Soviet Union and Algeria. Due to the impending global peak in fossil fuel production, this cannot offer a reliable long-term solution.

peak_oil2