Image credit: Energy Saving News
The UK Government has not been popular of late - with some saying the ruling Labour Party is in the fight of its life. It might be why Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, seems to be going to some effort to reach out to grassroots environmental movements. From joining the high profile 10:10 Campaign to attending the Transition Conference as a keynote listener, Luckily, Mr Miliband seems intent on walking his talk too. His announcement of 34% emmisions cuts by 2020 already got a lot of people talking, and now he is throwing some serious money (UK£10m, or US$16m) at low carbon grassroots community efforts. Read on to find out how you can benefit. The announcement is part of the Government's Low Carbon Communities Challenge, and is offering £10m to be shared between up to 20 local authorities - with local people voting on how the money should be spent. According to the Government Monitor, beneficiaries of the Low Carbon Communities Challenge could range from electric car charging stations to biomass power plants. Crucially, the recipients will be expected to work with Government to monitor the success of their programs - with the most effective schemes being modeled for roll out across the country.
In launching the initiative, Ed Miliband argued that grassroots initiatives have a crucial roll to play in setting the scene for national and international action:
We're searching for communities across the country to kick start the low carbon revolution. The Challenge is an opportunity for communities to lead the way so that everyone can play their part in tacking climate change and save money on fuel bills.
The UK has the most ambitious emissions reduction commitments in the world and projects like this will develop the policies we need to be successful. With just over two months to go until the crucial climate talks at Copenhagen, the UK is well placed to show it is taking action in all areas to combat climate change.
The information and application pack is available for download from Rob Hopkins' Transition culture blog. Good luck for any communities going after the money - let us know what you do with it!