UK Tackling climate change

 

Tackling climate change

In this video, Dr Steve Smith, who leads on climate science at the UK Committee on Climate Change, discusses climate policy in the UK, the role of science in creating policy, and how emission targets can be met. For more information you can visit the UK Committee on Climate Change website.

 

 

Source: OUR CHANGING CLIMATE: PAST, PRESENT…UNIVERSITY OF READING

Continue reading “UK Tackling climate change”

Reading and UK Petition – Monthly Car-Free Work-Day #TimeToAct2015 #MyCarFreeDaysRdg

Reading Borough Council
Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee
Local Transport Plan (LTP3)
Civic Offices
Reading
RG1 7AE

Subject: Reading climate change air-pollution strategy and monthly Car-Free Work-Day

Reading and UK Petition – Monthly Car-Free Work-Day #TimeToAct2015 #MyCarFreeDaysRdg

Reading should get on board a monthly car-free work-day!

As part of a car free day every motorised vehicle should be forbidden in the whole of the Regional area; with the exception of public transport, emergency services, buses and minibuses, taxis and public vehicles of authority (office, transfer of funds, collection of garbage). Certain people can for exceptional reasons benefit from passes delivered by the municipality.

A car free day is the opportunity to make motorists more aware of the environmental impact of pollution and allow better use of public space.

Background

Air Quality
Air quality is important for our health, quality of life and the environment. Air pollution is harmful to human health, plants and animals, and also corrodes materials and buildings.

Transport
An effective transport system is fundamental to building sustainable and thriving local communities. The challenge is to minimise transport’s contribution to green-house gas emissions, through reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more sustainable modes of transport and alternative energy sources, and reducing congestion

  • Develop a transport infrastructure which supports more low carbon travel options for people in Reading
    By developing a friendly pedestrian/cycling infrastructure such as bridges, premier cycle routes. By supporting electrical charging stations for electric vehicles and introducing more cycle hire
  • Encourage non-car travel for all sectors of the population, through targeted advice, incentives and enforcement
    By promoting and helping to develop personalised travel planning,  introducing incentive schemes like a monthly car-free work-day and increasing enforcement on parking and bus lanes
  • Reduce energy use and ‘embodied energy’ in transport infrastructure
    By better control of lighting and use of low energy lighting. Reducing unnecessary lighting of street furniture
  • Manage transport infrastructure and services to prepare for climate change
    By developing infrastructure appropriately given the changing climate, reallocating space for public transport and cycling and introducing smarter ways to manage congestion and speed, e.g. with social media and best practice road layouts and divest from fossil fuels
  • Reduce the air pollution from vehicles
    By supporting relevant technology and car-pooling schemes, expanding park and ride system and supporting charging sites for electric vehicles in our sharing economy

Overall we fully agree with the “Outline Development Framework- Reading Air Quality”, however we believe a Reading monthly car-free work-day is a perfect opportunity to build upon London’s success with their clean air initiative, and create Reading’s own sustainable pathway route for its citizens. We would like to put forward this idea to Reading Borough Council of using the site Reading’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) during the period of 2015-2020 as a functional space to let local community groups use street space as a sustainability hub to promote Reading to becoming a greener place to live and work in. The “monthly car-free work-day” will promote various green project solutions and can also be a testing facility for monitoring and analysing local community for the council.

We hope a car-free work-day will lead to a change in behaviour, enabling the community to work towards becoming a zero-emissions society.

A regular car-free work-day in Reading could fuel an International monthly Car-Free Day which could be an astonishing example of traffic development and public realm. Reading has great potential to embrace the sustainable pathway and become a British role-model in climate change (the air is our all urban common) to honour a successful climate change agreement taking place in Paris December 2015.

On behalf of the Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg), as Reading’s leader in the green movement against climate change, we would like to ask you for your consideration of our proposed project to help drive Reading’s bid for a monthly “Car-Free Work-Day”.

This is an event that has been held in cities around the world, with areas being closed off to cars thus encouraging people to use more sustainable forms of transport, such as walking, cycling or public transport. The event challenges people to:

  • Spend one day without the use of a car
  • Observe the difference this makes to their locality
  • Reflect on how car use can be reduced permanently

This will help us to achieve our aims of reducing air pollution, developing sustainability and increasing Reading’s green credentials through:

  • Encouraging people to find alternatives to car use
  • Reducing emissions / pollution
  • Raising awareness

A Car-Free Work-Day has the potential to improve the quality of life in Reading through a reduction in traffic, and therefore noise and pollution, and also make people more aware of how their own actions impact on the environment. It will also increase Reading’s chances of enrolling for the European Green Capital Award in the future.

We want to strive for community usage of the streets in order to preserve its heritage qualities but also as a sustainable landmark for the future.

Balanced and mixed use of our public space between integrated interest groups; people, bikes, public transport and cars is a kind of damage control, keeping the new agenda safe and sustainable. Especially regarding the cars’ use of the public realm, which is still 80% of street space (if you design mixed use streets you design a healthy city). This high percentage for car use needs to drop dramatically to cope with future challenges. For instance if urban neighborhoods could interact and agree (Empowered interconnection) to regular car free days on, life in our citizen communities would improve considerably.

Our main aim is to bring together businesses, the local community, the Government and those who want to learn about Climate Change, in order to create collaborative momentum to reduce CO2, find new solutions to commuting, increase remote working and develop sustainability in the Thames Valley Berkshire, and beyond.

We hope after the first year trial the Reading Borough Council, who have already evaluated future usage of streets as a historic move and i.e. permanent decision for the Thames Valley Berkshire area, will take action and actually do something that will lead us and a small part of the UK in to new pathway for a shift away from fossil fuels promoting the Reading area as one front leaders in traffic development of turning into city status for 2020 and forth coming…

This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we’ve surrendered to cars

There are very good reasons to hold community street events in a traffic-free street:

  • Making use of the space that a car-free day provide~ Boris Johnson
  • Streets are open and ‘owned’ by everyone and so very accessible
  • Communities normally suffering from traffic can be opened up
  • Neighbourhood shopping centres can be revitalized by a traffic-free event
  • They provide new sites for local street markets which are very popular

Once the traffic is cleared the space opens new possibilities for community activities, particularly in areas needing regeneration – their image can be improved. Communities of different ethnic origins sometimes use streets in different ways, drawing on their own culture.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your consideration and invite you to consider future meetings with us or events to discuss from a business perspective the challenges set out in new agenda of curbing CO2 emissions and contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC´s proposed reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, necessary if the world is to achieve and to stay below the 2degree target.

Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg)
17 Newbury Close
Charvil
Berkshire
United Kingdom

www.CCCRdg.org.uk
Contact No: 07447 934700

 

NOTES
Note: Clean Air in London builds public understanding of poor air quality but does not provide advice

CAL 186 About_environmental SCIENTIST April 2013_Air Quality

CAL 186 EA letter to Sutton re SWLI 091112_redacted and reduced file size

CAL 186 10 steps_Smog hospitalisations

CAL 208 Presentation to Public Health Presents 271112_Benefits slide only

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jan/31/air-activists-social-media-pollution-city

– See more at: http://cleanair.london/solutions/10-steps-for-clean-air-in-london/#sthash.wS9LAHB5.dpuf

 

Will Reading be the European Green Capital 2017?

Rdg CAN!

– Have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives.

– Commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

– Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_quadri

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2017? The Commission has launched its search for the 2017 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The..

Read more here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Will-your-city-2017_Web-Copy-F01.pdf

CCCRdg will be representing Climate Change mission in the Reading / Thames Valley Berkshire area at the Future of Places (FOP) Conference

Newsdesk

Climate Change Centre Reading
How can Reading / Thames Valley Berkshire become a role model in Climate Change? How can our leadership in in this very current area attract green businesses to the region? How do we form a strong sustainable community 2020-2050? These are questions the Climate Change Centre will address in Driving Readings bid for the 2017 European Green Capital Award; and in doing so will help safeguard the future of our children;

“Streets as Public Spaces,” reflects the importance of modern street design in enabling – or damaging – the well-being of city dwellers.  Streets serve a broader function than the efficient conveyance of vehicles or pedestrians from one location to another.  They, and their adjacent spaces, form a critical connective network within the city, profoundly influencing, and potentially limiting, social and economic development.

Please see our press release here: http://media1.tvb-climatechallenge.org.uk/2014/03/Press-Release_Climate-Change-Centre-Reading22.pdf

Press-release_CCCRdg_180613

Following the 2013 Future of Places conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Ax:son Johnson Foundation, together with its partners UN-Habitat and Project for Public Spaces, are pleased to announce the next conference in the series. The theme of the 2014 conference, “Streets as Public Spaces,” reflects the importance of modern street design in enabling – or damaging – the well-being of city dwellers.  Streets serve a broader function than the efficient conveyance of vehicles or pedestrians from one location to another.  They, and their adjacent spaces, form a critical connective network within the city, profoundly influencing, and potentially limiting, social and economic development.

BACKGROUND TO THE PUBLISHER:

Towards Habitat III 2016

‘Habitat III’ is the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to take place in 2016.

Habitat III will be one of the first global conferences after the Post 2015 Development Agenda. It is an opportunity to discuss and chart new pathways in response to the challenges of urbanization and the opportunities it offers for the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

The conference promises to be unique in bringing together diverse urban actors such as governments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, academic institutions and all relevant interest groups to review urban and housing policies affecting the future of cities within an international governance architecture, with a view to generate a ‘New Urban Agenda’ for the 21st century which recognizes the ever-changing dynamics of human civilization.

Habitat III offers Member States an opportunity to discuss a New Urban Agenda that will focus on policies and strategies that can result in effectively harnessing the power and forces behind urbanization.

“Consider Climate Change in every action”~Climate Change Centre Reading

More information:
See UN-Habitat Vision for Habitat III

Glass tiles make the roof for solar panels

Glass tiles make the roof for solar panels

A new technology that allows sunlight to heat up the house completely silently, with zero carbon and with minimal running costs are now being developed. With the help of KTH researcher Peter Kjaerboe and many others. This is through the use of glass tiles on the roof, which allows light which can be used as energy to pass through to the fabric layers below.

Glass tiles are the same as conventional roof tiles, except the glass passes light to the fabric substrate.As a result When light passes through the glass and hits the fabric it is converted into heat.The heated air can then either heat the house directly or transferred to the liquid-heat, says Peter Kjaerboe.

The system can be integrated with other energy systems such as district heating, geothermal heating, heat pump, pellet, wood, oil or electric boiler.

Climate Pact member SolTech Energy markets solar power solution, whose life expectancy is estimated to be at least 40 years.

soltech

Read more here .

Will Reading be the European Green Capital 2016?

Rdg CAN!:

– Have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives.

– Commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

– Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_quadri

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2016? The Commission has launched its search for the 2016 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The..

Read more here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-585_en.htm?goback=%2Egna_4704185%2Egde_4704185_member_252057251#%21

Reading 2050: Revealing Reading’s Potential

Following our inaugural Reading 2050 networking event for young property professionals, this report examines Reading’s standing in the UK, areas where the town could be improved and ideas for development going forward.

Barton Willmore have compiled thoughts and ideas from the June networking event alongside some interesting statistics on Reading in the Reading 2050 Introductory Report.

READING2050 REVEALING READING´S POTENTIAL
READING2050
REVEALING READING´S POTENTIAL

You can download the report here: http://www.bartonwillmore.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/GA-Reading-research-doc-version-3D-low-res.pdf

 

8 points on financing climate change adaptation in urban areas

David Satterthwaite
20 June 2013

As the urgent need for climate change adaptation becomes clearer, so three issues come to the fore. The first is the cost.  Many estimates suggest that trillions of dollars are needed, with little idea of where these might come from. The second is whether governments and international agencies will act with the needed urgency. The third is whether those who need to act get the support they require. A meeting on Financing Urban Adaptation to Climate Change held at IIED on the 13-14 June highlighted eight points to guide funding.

People stand on a sea-wall with a road and look out at the ocean. The sea-wall built by members of the Philippines Homeless People’s Federation in Davao with a loan from the the Asian Coalition for Community Action. The loan encouraged the government to extend the wall further. Credit: ACHR


1: Climate change adaptation needs to support change on the ground

This includes working with those most at risk from storms, floods and heat waves and other hazards associated with climate change. Somsook Boonyabancha from the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights gave many examples of risk-reducing initiatives in informal settlements. Since 2009, the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) has supported over 1,000 community initiatives in 168 cities in 19 nations.

The funding available for each initiative was only (US) $1-3,000. But the community organizations chose what to do with the support – for instance constructing water supply systems, drains, all-weather roads or paths, sea walls (as in the above photo) or playgrounds.  In most of these cities, several community initiatives were supported and those involved came together to discuss with their local government how to expand such initiatives. They often set up jointly managed city funds to do so. Through this process, many community organizations developed new relationships with local government staff.  Community organizations became the drivers of change within their settlement and within the city. These were not climate change adaptation programmes, but by allowing those in informal settlements to determine what was done, it meant hundreds of initiatives which reduce climate change risks. In many cities, communities chose to repay the funds so other community initiatives could be supported.

2:  Urban dwellers as local risk analysts, managers and reducers

The billion urban dwellers who live in informal settlements are among those most at risk from climate change. They also have knowledge and capacity to identify and reduce those risks. In over 30 nations, there are national federations or networks of ‘slum’/shack/homeless people. The foundations of these federations are savings groups, mostly formed and managed by women. Joel Bolnick fromSlum/Shack Dwellers International/SDI highlighted how these savings groups are also risk analysts, managers and reducers. Indeed the reason why the savings groups were set up was to help very low-income women manage risk and increase their resilience to shocks, including sudden and extreme weather events that can damage their homes and livelihoods. They build this resilience by creating savings accounts and having quick and easy access to loans when needed. These savings groups have supported many initiatives – building or improving homes, building and managing community toilets and washing facilities, and carrying out censuses in informal settlements to generate the data needed to design and implement upgrading schemes.

Siku Nkhoma from the Centre for Community Organisation and Development gave examples of how the 50,000 members of the Malawi Homeless People’s Federation had negotiated for land, built homes and constructed 2,500 eco-friendly toilets in different urban centres.

3:  Partnerships between slum dweller groups and city governments can build resilience at the city scale

Alice Balbo from Local Governments for Sustainability – ICLEI emphasized that where local governments have learnt to work with those living in informal settlements, we begin to see a model of climate change adaptation that is centred on those most at risk and capable of helping the city scale-up its efforts. These partnerships draw on household, community and local government resources, and thus require far less external funding than conventional climate change adaptation plans. In over 100 cities, slum/shack dweller federations have memorandums of understanding with city governments to formalize these partnerships. In many cities, there are City Funds jointly managed by local governments and community organizations

4:  International and national funds should be funding local processes, not projects

In the few city initiatives that have supported climate change adaptation, this generally starts with a city vulnerability study, then with experts identifying projects, then measures proposed to seek funding. The ACCA programme described above does this the other way round – providing funding, letting those on the ground make decisions and in doing so act on risk and vulnerability. Instead of a national fund to which local governments apply, each urban centre should be allocated funds whose use has to be determined with community organizations with transparency in how funding priorities are determined and supported.

The Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) in Thailand shows how a national government fund can support community organizations formed by people living in informal settlements to design, manage and fund their own upgrading programme or housing initiative. This makes CODI funding go so much further. Since much of this work is funded by loans, it also means funds that are returned go to benefit other communities. If governments shifted from funding projects to funding the community processes outlined above, the scale of what they could achieve would be enormously increased. These community organizations often leverage increased support from local governments and businesses, as shown by CODI, by ACCA, and by the initiatives of the slum/shack dweller federations.

5:  Climate change adaptation and good local development go hand in hand

Steve Hammer from the World Bank emphasized how climate change adaptation has to be treated as a co-benefit of development initiatives. None of the initiatives mentioned above were designed as climate change adaptation. But, by addressing priorities identified by community organizations from informal settlements, many risks were reduced as housing was improved, infrastructure installed (for water, sanitation and drainage) and services provided (including disaster risk response capacities).  Without this, there will be little buy-in to climate change adaptation from the community groups and local governments. And without their buy-in and collaboration, there is little hope of progress.

6:  The five points above help build the financial, institutional and political base that climate change adaptation needs in every urban centre

As local processes help build local governments with more capacity, transparency and willingness to work with those in informal settlements, it also means local governments that can better use international funding to complement local resources, and international agencies can work with them more effectively.

7.  The big international climate funds need to work with local governments and informal settlement residents

Funds that support local processes have produced new insights into what funding is needed and by whom – but this presents enormous institutional challenges to any national or international fund set up to support climate change adaptation. Their bureaucracy could never manage support for thousands of low-cost initiatives to community organizations.

At the moment, much of the discussion on adaptation financing is around the confusion caused by the different international funds and their funding procedures, the limited funding these have (because of the lack of commitments by many governments) – and for many, the surprisingly low amount of funding actually committed.

But what is more at issue is the incapacity of these funds to support and work with the kinds of local and city processes that can and should drive climate change adaptation. Why isn’t there more discussion of this? Why are the two most important groups for climate change adaptation (and for development) so marginalized in these discussions – local governments and representative organizations of the billion people living in informal settlements? What is the point of developing new international funds if they cannot work with those who will make best use of this funding?

Some of these international funds don’t want their support for adaptation to include development. So they won’t fund the infrastructure that so many cities lack, only the increase in the infrastructure’s resilience to climate change impacts. But you cannot increase the resilience of infrastructure that is not there. Financing adaptive capacity in cities is not just funding the incremental improvements to cope with increased risk – it is building the institutional, financial and political capacity to act, invest and govern well.

8:  Support for local processes needs 1 per cent of aid

If funds to support the local processes outlined above got 1 per cent of aid, this would mean US$1.2 billion a year. Imagine the impact these funds could have if applied to the slum/shack dweller federations and to ACCA.

Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) has supported the growth and consolidation of federations of slum/shack/homeless people in over 30 nations, supporting the creation of 16,000 savings groups, securing tenure for 200,000+ households and providing hundreds of thousands with better access to toilets and washing facilities.  There are memoranda of understanding with more than 100 cities, censuses of 4,200 informal settlements (and profiles and maps covering many more than this).  All this with (US) $30 million external funding. With$600 million a year, what more could they achieve?  2,000 cities with strong federation-city government partnerships?  Much improved provision for sanitation and washing for hundreds of millions?

With around $10 million, 2009-2012, ACCA supported 1,000 community initiatives, 150+ cities with discussions between community organizations and local governments and over 100 City Funds. With US$600 million, this could support 60,000 community initiatives, 9,000 cities with discussions between community organizations and over 6,000 City Funds.  The achievements of ACCA and of SDI are in the collective achievements of the hundreds or thousands of groups they support, to whom they give choice, voice and influence.  These are the kinds of transnational networks that can help channel support direct to action on the ground.

Of course, there are other key issues for financing urban climate adaptation. Perhaps the most important is how to get adaptation, resilience and mitigation built into the vast private investment flows that are the key drivers of urbanization. As Jeb Brugmann pointed out, the investments needed to achieve resilient and low-carbon urban centres are far beyond what the climate change adaption funds are likely to have.

But at least we have a working model for what has long seemed an impossible task – building resilience to climate change among those with the lowest incomes and least political power. We can see the scale and scope of what external funding could support – and the relatively modest funding that this would require.

iied – International Institute for Environment and Development

How green is your university?

Green League results explained in 2 mins

People & Planet’s Green League is the only comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance. It is compiled annually by the UK’s largest student campaigning network, People & Planet.

More information: http://peopleandplanet.org/greenleague

The Exhibition at the Crystal

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