Friends of Carbon Copy: Friends of the Earth

A placard at a climate protest.

The Carbon Copy team is delighted to have the support of Friends of the Earth in our collaborative work to help speed up local climate action. Whether individuals wear the badge with pride or not, COVID-19 has taught us that we are all environmentalists. There is no “us” versus “them” in thinking about the importance of our surroundings and our agency within it. We are all susceptible to invisible microbes that can travel not two metres but thousands of miles. We are all acutely aware of the growing risks from climate change and prone to its symptoms wherever we live.

Climate action is a societal conversation. Collectively, we have to simultaneously support inspiring low-carbon initiatives as well as changes to our social and economic models to ensure we have a fighting chance of thriving.

Today’s activists must provide economic alternatives to the projects they are opposing, to win the argument as well as build the base they need. A great example of such action is Balcombe: a village that found itself on the front line of demonstrations against fracking that became a pioneer in solar power. In opposition to fracking, the local community formed RepowerBalcombe to supply the equivalent of 100% of Balcombe’s electricity demand through community owned, locally generated renewable energy.

Most of us are not activists, but all of us are citizens. Carbon Copy is a civic-led organisation that shares the ideas and initiatives needed to accelerate inclusive, local climate action by connecting local communities, councils and companies. Friends of the Earth has called out the important role that local authorities can play in this mix, delivering carbon emission reductions across different areas from transport to buildings to procurement and being mindful of social inclusion. In addition to campaigning to influence these local authority plans, Friends of the Earth has also identified an invaluable framework of 33 actions that local authorities can take.

We are heading in the same direction but will take different steps to get there. There is no single path to carbon reduction as climate action is intensely place based. This framework is one of many initiatives that Carbon Copy is looking to share with those who have taken the lead on local climate action. We hope you will copy what works and will adapt what needs to be localised. With local leadership and community engagement, we will achieve our carbon zero goals faster, together.

Image Credit: Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

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