Networks of community action
- Low Carbon Communities – this network aims to encourage the adoption of low carbon and zero carbon technologies and lifestyles at a community level, and to enable groups engaged in this to be as effective and efficient as possible.
- Community Carbon Network – this network consists of other communities who want to learn more about how to develop and maintain their projects – and share what they know and have learned in the process.
There are many existing networks which help to keep active communities in touch with each other, and which can provide channels of communication about new developments and opportunities. There are various overlaps between the goals and roles of these networks,and it’s good to explore what they can each offer your group.
This page gives some examples of the networks for communities working on climate action, with a special focus on the Transition Towns network which promotes a particular model and process which communities can use to reduce their energy demand. Transition Scotland has recently been funded by the Climate Challenge Fund to support groups who want to follow this process.
Transition Towns – Tackling Peak Oil and Climate Change, together
Transition Scotland is an exciting new initiative set up to support communities in Scotland which want to become Transition Towns. The Transition model encourages communities to unleash their collective genius to find the answers to this big question: for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how are we going to:
- significantly rebuild resilience (in response to peak oil)
- drastically reduce carbon emissions (in response to climate change)
Find out more:
- Totnes in Devon was the UK’s first transition town and their website provides a lot of inspiring information about what they’re doing
- Network with other people working in Transition towns using the Transition Towns forum.
- Find out more about the Transition Network at transitiontowns.org.
Meet Scotland’s first Transition Town
Portobello started the process of becoming a Transition Town in 2005, as the community was celebrating it’s victory in a long battle against plans to put a Superstore at the end of their High Street. Inspired by the work of Rob Hopkins’ permaculture students in Kinsale, Ireland, Portobello residents decided that they were ready to follow their example and develop their own own Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP).
To date they have gone some way towards this, learning a great deal and running several public events such as the Car Free Day and the Local Food Shindig. They now have two energetic groups (Food and Land Reform) with projects up and running i.e. a community orchard project. PEDAL have got off to a great start and hope to inspire other communities in turn.
Community action to tackle climate change
The Transition Town approach demonstrates the power that community action can have, when given the chance to connect with the issues they face. Tackling climate change head on and working together to make strategic plans of action will help us to find our path towards the solutions we require.
The communities who have started their journey to energy descent have many inspiring and encourage stories to share. Through networking and exchanging ideas we can all move forward together as a global community supporting each other to take actions necessary to change our way of life for the better.
Practical projects such as community gardens and community skills swops aimed at addressing the global issues also help people to address the local issues of unsustainable economic growth and the current social infrastructure of the community. Working together to decide on actions galvanises the strength that a community possesses, empowering people and enabling them to make real changes and feel the benefits of the actions they own.
The great work being carried out by PEDAL in Scotland has resulted in a speakers tour for the proposals of new Transition Towns throughout Scotland. Successful meetings have taken place in Aberdeen, Falkland, Stirling, Dunbar, East Kilbride, West Kilbride, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Biggar.