Grassroots energy collaboration invite – #Biofuel

Protectors,

Can I please ask you to have a think about groups in the your local area that may be interested in the Energy Forum outlined below.

It would be fantastic if you could come and contribute too.

There will be another event in Bristol in June and some people you know may find that more convenient from your area

I think you’ll be inspired by the effort to find common definitions of dirty energy and true sustainability across the disparate campaigns and to tackle fuel poverty through community energy schemes.

*****

Dear Friends

Biofuelwatch is planning a series of day-long Grassroots Energy Collaboration workshops, bringing together campaigners against dirty extractive energy and fuel poverty with community renewable energy projects, to identify areas for collaboration and mutual support. The workshops will be in London, Bristol and Liverpool this spring and early summer, and we hope you can come to one.

We want to promote better networking and collaborating between groups fighting against dirty energy and fuel poverty, and for community-controlled renewable energy, in order to counter government and industry efforts to “divide and rule” and to play off different important goals against each other (e.g. arguing that we need more gas because nuclear power is dangerous, or more biomass instead of coal). The focus is specifically on the UK context, and on energy for heat and power rather than for transport.

Aims of the day are:

  • To facilitate collaboration and networking between grassroots groups and organisations campaigning against different forms of dirty energy and against fuel poverty, as well as those working on community renewable energy;
  • To identify shared principles and campaigning objectives and messages;
  • To identify scope for joint work or messaging, either between all or some participating groups.

The London workshop will be on Saturday 20th May at the Friends of the Earth Office, 1st Floor the Printworks, 139 Clapham Road, SW9 0HP 10am – 4.30pm.

See below for a draft agenda. Please register on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/grassroots-energy-collaboration-workshop-london-tickets-33853448576 if you’re coming, and contact us if you have any queries, comments or suggestions.

We will be sending out a document before the event with info on all the different projects and campaigns represented. If could send us a 100 word blurb on your project and current priorities, with a maximum of two web links, that would be fantastic.

Finally, we are not advertising this event publicly because we want to keep it relatively small and focussed, but if you know of any other groups or individuals who you think should be invited, please contact us and we’ll see if there is still space to invite them. There will be similar events in Bristol and Liverpool in early June – let us know if one of those would be more convenient for your group, or if you have suggestions of groups who should be invited.

Many thanks, and looking forward to seeing you in May.

Fran, Duncan and the Biofuelwatch team

Agenda:

  • Arrive from 10 – registration, tea, networking etc.
  • 10.30  Introductions – name go round.
  • 10.45   Setting the context: A brief overview of energy use and generation in the UK (e.g. how much comes from coal, from wind, etc) and of the UK Government’s “energy policy” (including their attack on wind and solar power, cuts to energy conservation and efficiency funding, subsidies for dirty energy). Then some discussion on this about people’s different perspectives, clarification and mapping of where we are.
  • 11.30   Short presentations by the different groups about their projects and campaigns, including instances of collaboration and where it has worked/not worked in the past. 4 minutes max each.
  • Get into groups of 4 people (ideally who don’t know each other), talk about what all that information raised for you, in preparation for the discussions in the afternoon.
  • 12.30 lunch
  • 1.30   Discussion session 1: Joint messages and principles: What are the joint themes and messages emerging from the different projects and campaigns presented earlier? Are there any controversial areas, i.e. demands made by campaigns not shared by others? Or any shared ‘enemies’ or barriers to change?
  • 2.15 Feedback. Identify actions to take away, people who need to talk to each other further.
  • 2.30 Break
  • 2.45 Discussion session 2: How much do different groups feel they would benefit and could contribute to joint campaigning and joint messaging? What options for effective collaboration do people see (having regard to different groups’ resources)?
  • 3.30 Feedback.  Identify actions to take away, people who need to talk to each other further.
  • 3.45 Conclusion/way forward: Discuss and aim to agree next steps (possible outcomes may or may not include collaborating on developing common energy policy principles, a follow-up meeting, follow-up email discussions, more regional networking, etc)
  • Prioritise actions identified before, what needs to happen first, put names to tasks, things we need to return to later.
  • 4.30 finish

— UK bioenergy campaigner, Biofuelwatch —

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