10 Jul 2009 11:07:06
UK calls for community action to lower CO2 emissions
A fundamental behavioural change will be required of communities across the UK if legally binding targets on carbon dioxide emissions are to be met.
Speaking at the launch of the Energy Saving Trust's (EST) new Green Communities scheme, climate change minister Joan Ruddock said that community action is vital in motivating villages, towns and cities to embrace a low-carbon future.
The scheme provides a hub for UK communities, providing them with free access to online tools and advice to help them reduce their carbon emissions, while also saving money on energy bills.
It offers guidance on planning applications for renewable energy technologies, dealing with listed buildings and securing funding from sources such as environmental trust funds.
Ms Ruddock said: "The EST already has an excellent track record in encouraging community action through a range of support.
"The Green Communities Programme takes what has been done so far to a new level and I believe will make a real difference."
She added that the government intends to provide £25 million for energy-efficient community heating projects designed to save 20,000 tonnes of CO2 a year using technologies including biomass and energy-from-waste.
The climate change minister estimated that 40 percent of UK emissions are derived from individual and community sources, meaning that greater energy efficiency could have a big impact in reducing the UK's total carbon footprint.http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/cafe