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  • Kate Calvert 5:24 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Retrograde Solar Tax Proposed 

    The government plans a major tax on schools, hospitals and small businesses who run on solar power. If implemented this change would mean bills up to eight times higher than currently. The change would do very serious damage to the UK’s solar industry.

    This is just the next step in a sequence of attacks on solar energy which Greenpeace reports have resulted in 12,000 job losses across the country. Now this new tax hike would leave hundreds of solar-loving organisations with a negative return on their investment, successfully putting others off investing.

    Green MP Caroline Lucas recently commented:

    “People who are doing their best, doing their bit to try to reduce our climate emissions […] are now being penalised by this government.” 

    Labour Shadow Energy Secretary, Barry Gardiner,  said:

    “Businesses made their investments in clean technology as a sound financial decision. They did not expect the government retrospectively to classify their investment so as to subject it to eight times the level of tax. This will cost some businesses more than the value of the energy they are saving and they will be forced to rip these solar panels off their rooftops.”

    Greenpeace says the mainstream media aren’t reporting on the issue so have made a  60 second Greenpeace video on the subject which has already been watched more than 45,000 times.

    They are asking everyone to share it so the story moves up the media agenda. The link is at

    The Greenpeace petition on the issue is at Solar Tax Petition.

  • susan640 4:29 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: solar power; energy efficiency; Kirklees Council; Andrew Cooper; fracking;   

    Councillor #AndrewCooper leader of #Greens in #Kirklees Council – speaking at Crouch End meeting on 9 February 

    Listening to Andrew Cooper highlighted what can be done by a handful of committed decarbonising politicians in a hung council – unfortunately Councils around Archway are not in this situation.

    Andrew Cooper is the driving force behind a series of major energy saving/carbon emission reduction projects undertaken over nearly 20 years in the Kirklees area of Yorkshire which have led Kirklees to be one of the UK’s leading local authorities in the field of carbon reduction and climate change combat.

    Andrew became a Green Councillor in the late 1990s, when the Greens were the balancing group in hung Council administrations in Kirklees. Being committed to energy saving they cast around for ways to get energy saved for the people of the area and worked out that they could save £50k from a Labour government National Insurance change and divert it into a local renewable energy fund. The Council agreed to this. This fund levered lots of additional grants for local projects, including from the EU. The local renewable industry geared up as a result. Thousands of solar panels were put up. You can watch Andrew on You tube here:

    and here:

    The Council sold shares in Leeds Bradford Airport and spent the money on free insulation for everyone. Saved £3 million from everyone’s energy bills, which was spent on other things in the local community. Amongst other projects they also had a revolving fund for LEDs in local schools.

    Sadly, there is no more money around for this sort of thing.

    Kirklees is doing its best to oppose fracking. The Greens have pushed through an amendment to the local plan asking fracking companies to demonstrate how their application will have net zero impact on climate change, which they will not be able to achieve. This will be Kirklees’ stated policy.

    2016 was when the nationwide zero carbon homes standard was meant to be introduced. Chancellor Osborne cancelled this as he said it was an undue pressure on the building industry, and chucked out 9 years of working towards this standard. In Kirklees, they have a local plan for 29000 new homes. They are going to specify passiv haus standards. 90% of energy costs will be saved by the occupants who can then spend this money in the local economy.

    Andrew is a member of the EU committee of the regions. There are nationally determined carbon contributions. Why are there not regional and local contributions? He Is proposing this idea to the Committee of the Regions and taking it into the EU.

    US/Trump . Can go round the Trump climate policy by contacting the US sister body the Commission of Mayors and is getting in touch with them via the Committee of the EU regions. This will continue after Brexit.

    Andrew Cooper was an inspiration to us all in trying to encourage our own local authorities to reduce fossil fuel emissions and at the same time make people’s lives better.

    For more information please see Andrew’s blog here:

    Councillor Andrew Cooper addressing packed and enthusiastic audience

    Councillor Andrew Cooper addressing packed and enthusiastic audience

    • Kate Calvert 5:50 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent initiatives and ones all local authorities should be seeking to mirror in these cash strapped times.

      Similar initiative will be needed going forward so it’s up to the local politicians to start outlining how that can happen – not just the current incumbents but those who will be standing against them – next elections are 2018 so not far off.

  • susan640 4:19 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

  • susan640 2:41 pm on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brexit;, climate change; Barry Gardiner;   


    On 9 February the Hornsey & Wood Green Labour Party Climate Change & Environment Group organised a public meeting to discuss climate change initiatives in the light of Brexit and now Trump. I was delighted to see that local MP Catherine West was in the Chair. Speakers were Labour shadow climate change spokesman Barry Gardiner MP and Councillor Andrew Cooper, leader of the Greens in Kirklees Council. Great to see such a large audience on this vital subject which has languished unheard during the upheavals of 2016.

    Highlights from Barry Gardiner’s speech were:

    1) In the House of Commons Labour asked for an amendment to the vote to trigger Article 50 to require an assessment on the environmental impact of leaving the EU. This failed due to a shortage of 20 Conservative MPs who cared enough about the environment (my words here).

    2) US under Trump. Barry had spoken with Jonathan Pershing (Obama’s former Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State and lead U.S. negotiator to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change but now forced out onto pastures new). Pershing said that he was not depressed by the Trump administration’s climate approach, because US states and cities and business have got the climate message and would drive decarbonisation forward.

    3) The UK is way off hitting its carbon budgets to 2032, by 47%. The Government is way behind writing its implementation plan for hitting its 4th carbon budget, which is delayed until sometime in 2017. The UK climate consensus is falling apart.

    However, the Government was committed to the end of coal by 2025 (the Government had earlier cancelled the trial for abatement of coal pollution). Barry was encouraged by moves within the national grid to install many more systems operators, which will make the grid more flexible and energy-saving, able to accommodate renewables more easily, etc.,

    The Government supports fracked gas, and so to discourage fracking companies, Labour has said it will ban fracking, and this jeopardises fracking’s potential profits.

    4) The Great EU Repeal Bill will stop enforcement of the many EU environmental protection laws by the EU. The Tories will go for deregulation , and have told the NFU that they will take away all the regulations the NFU doesn’t like. The pull out from Euratom will lead to chaos in nuclear industry.

    5) The way to get people engaged in the climate change and decarbonisation issues is via microgeneration, which empowers people and communities, has worked with great success in Germany where community windfarms are very popular, and will work for Africa and Asia too.

    Councillor Cooper spoke inspirationally about Kirklees and more widely, my report on his speech will follow separately.

    Barry Gardiner, MP, Catherine West, MP, Norman Beddington, eco householder, and Cllr Andrew Cooper of Kirklees

    Barry Gardiner, MP, Catherine West, MP, Norman Beddington, and Cllr Andrew Cooper of Kirklees

  • Adam Hardy 10:49 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

    Tufnell Park Parents and Green Party planning air quality monitoring 

    Air Quality Monitoring Sat 4th and Sun 26th March

    The TPP is working with the Green Party as a follow up to the original (and worrying) air quality survey of local routes to schools and nurseries. The NO2 monitors will be going up on Saturday March 4, with collection Sunday March 26th. It will be a group effort so if you can spare the time to help on either day (or both) please contact us. And let us know also if you would like to sponsor an additional monitoring tube for your street (£10 each). For those on busy roads it might also be interesting to monitor at both the back and the front of the building. For more information contact Roderik Gonggrijp rgonggrijp at

  • Adam Hardy 10:47 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

    Green Party Air Pollution Info Evening Wed Feb 22nd 2017 

    Green Party organising Air Pollution Information Evening – Wednesday February 22nd, Islington Green Party is hosting an Air Pollution information evening at the Islington Town Hall on Upper Street from 7pm. There will be a presentation about the current state of air pollution in the borough based on recent measurements, and speakers will include experts from King College and UCL, so lots of opportunity for asking difficult questions. This is open to all, not just residents of Islington, so please pass round details to others who may be interested.

  • susan640 10:46 pm on January 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: green gym; community gardening; Elthorne Park   


    Islington's Green Gymnasts at work in Elthorne Park

    In Elthorne Park’s Peace Garden I encountered the conservation and community gardening volunteers of Islington’s Green Gym, who are just starting to go to the Philip Noel Baker Peace Garden to work between 10.45 and 2pm every Monday. This is the only Green Gym in LB Islington, though there are others in other parts of London. Participants’ health and wellbeing is helped by gentle physical activity (the gardening plus warm up exercises) and from contact with nature and each other out-of-doors. The sessions are free. The Peace Garden is lovely, but will most certainly benefit from regular tending. If anyone would like to join in please call Trudi on 07768421881, or see more details here:

  • Adam Hardy 12:13 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

    Local baker looking for funding on kickstarter to start local sourdough bakery

    The bread is delicious. I have to consciously stop myself eating the whole loaf as soon as I get it home.

    • Adam Hardy 12:14 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Forgot to say, there’s video on the website which explains what makes it so good

    • Kate Calvert 1:49 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The deals which include a number of loaves look like value for money – and it does look good stuff.

    • Adam Hardy 1:55 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Did you watch the video? He’s found a place for the bakery in Brecknock Road.

    • susan640 5:27 pm on January 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      William is going to go along and take the course

  • susan640 12:54 pm on January 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air quality; air pollution; idling vehicles   


    Vehicle Idling Action is a London-wide campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their engines when stationary. At 1pm Wednesday 8th February they will be holding a training session for people who would like to become Clean Air Champions and help to improve local air quality by volunteering for the campaign.

    At this training session, you will receive training on the impact of idling on air quality, how air quality affects health, and how to be effective in changing behaviour. After the training, there will be a Vehicle Idling Action event where you are invited to put your learning into practice.

    Training Details
    Date: Wednesday 8th February
    Time: 1pm – 2.15pm
    Venue: Islington Council, 222 Upper Street

    Action event details
    Date: Wednesday 8th February
    Time: 2.30pm-4.30pm
    Venue: Outside Laycock Primary School, Laycock Street

    Email the co-ordinator to book your space:

  • Kate Calvert 7:17 pm on January 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carbon footprint, low carbon technology, renewable technology, Renewables   

    15 Step to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint 

    The Guardian this week published a useful set of pointers in a supplement which also celebrated the good news Among other stats this reports that worldwide more new renewable electricity capacity was added than all fossil fuels combined in 2015.As the author of both says ‘for the first time, we can hope that the momentum of low carbon growth is now unstoppable. In many cases around the globe, clean technology no longer needs any subsidy, a finding that seemed unachievable five years ago.’

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