The world’s climate is changing, and it is largely due to the increased burning of carbon-based fossil fuels such as coal and oil*. Some grim futures have been forecast, so to achieve a happier outcome we need to reduce dramatically the amounts of these fuels that we burn.
The world is inching towards a consensus view on a ‘carbon budget’ – the total amount of fossil fuels that can be burned with the global temperature rise kept below 2 degrees C. There may well be moves to put a ‘carbon tax’ on fossil fuels which could have significant impacts on national economies and global trade. At the same time, the last couple of years have seen tremendous increases in the affordability of many sources of renewable energy and energy storage solutions.
In order to prepare for, and deal with, the combined impacts of climate change and limitations to fossil fuel use, we need to make some big changes over a period of time – hence ‘Transition’. Primarily, we need to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. We also need to strengthen the local economy and community to free it from dependence on a global economy with an uncertain outlook.
Our vision is that Constantine will be a zero-carbon sustainable community.
Our aims are that:
- heat, light and transport are fuelled as much as possible by locally generated renewable energy
- our food and drink are produced closer to home
- the community is culturally rich, broadly skilled and self-reliant
- more of the essential things we use are produced locally
- less stuff is bought that becomes rubbish
- re-use and recycling are the norm
- we have fun!
To achieve these aims, the Transition Constantine group will:
- investigate all these topics and provide information for local groups and individuals
- promote renewables and re-localisation within the community
- provide examples of how things could be different (and better!)
- secure external funding to help us on the way
- lead the development of community-owned enterprises
Significant projects on the go include:
- working with Constantine Pre-school (via the 10:10 Solar Schools programme) to install a Solar PV system on the roof
- installing two small wind turbines (received as a corporate gift) for community benefit
- assisting the establishment of the Constantine Community Land Trust
* “Climate Change 2013” – Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.