Transition City Bristol: Tackling Climate change and Peak Oil with Community Planning


The Transition Town concept, a community focused response to climate change and peak oil, which was pioneered by Rob Hopkins, and which we reported on here and here, is spreading even further. For the first time, it is being tried on a city-wide scale, with the birth of Transition City Bristol:

"Over the next couple of years we will be seeking practical answers to the question - 'How can Bristol prepare for the impacts of Peak Oil and reduce its contribution to Climate Change?' It's a big question and we're inviting you to join in the debate to find the answers. Everyone is invited to contribute - finding solutions in ways that fit your community, business or family. This participatory process will help us create an Energy Descent Action Plan - a roadmap for Bristol's move to resilient, sustainable systems which vastly reduce the city's dependency on fossil fuels and radically decrease its CO2 emissions."

The first stage of the Transition Town process is awareness raising, so the Bristol group are starting with a series of events on the issues they wish to address. The program is being launched with a talk on the 21st of March by Dr Chris Johnstone, author of Find Your Power, and a specialist in deep ecology, addictions therapy, and community action. Dr Johnstone will apparently be 'introducing tools for deepening determination, cultivating optimism and promoting inspired responses to disturbing information about the state of the world.' April will see a talk by Paul Mobbs, author of Energy Beyond Oil, on the impacts of Peak Oil.

It should be noted that Bristol is also the location of vegetarian haven Café Maitreya, eco-gastronomic innovators Bordeaux Quay, and it is soon to be the home of two important wind energy projects which we reported on here and here. Readers may notice a slight bias, but it is this Treehugger's place of birth, and former home town. In the interests of full disclosure, we should also say that the author was an active member of Bristol Permaculture Group (website currently down. Contact:, which has since been a driving force behind the creation of Transition City Bristol.

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