Explore solutions and help build a movement for change.
Join us at CAT for a unique one-day event exploring what a zero carbon future could look like, and how we make it happen. Share ideas, learn from successes, explore barriers and how they can be overcome, and come together to help make change happen.
The Climate Emergence Solutions Summit takes place on the day following our Zero Carbon Britain course – why not join us for the whole three days to learn more about technological, political and economic solutions.
- Duration: one day
- Upcoming dates: please see booking section below for all available dates
- Start and finish times: starts at 10am and ends at 4pm on the last day
- Fees: £20
- Includes: tuition, all materials, buffet lunch
What you will learn
Collectively we face the greatest threat to our local, and global living systems. Unless we act, we are facing the prospect of catastrophic climate change. According to October’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C’, humanity has 12 years to deliver the major actions needed to turn this around, so we can avoid passing the tipping points where we no longer have ability to avoid extreme climate events.
But sharing a problem as serious as a planetary climate emergency without also sharing the solutions can drive busy stresses people to reside in that reassuringly familiar BBC voice of Dad’s Army’s Private Frazier saying, “We’re doomed, Mr Mainwaring doomed”.
To make matters worse, every time our contemporary culture tells a story set in the near future, we paint it against a background of ecological collapse. Be it a novel, a film, TV show or the gaming world, any future setting is a dark zombie-ridden dystopia – and a whole new generation is now growing up within this paradigm, limiting the way we think.
If we only tell future stories set against chaos and collapse, no one can imagine positive outcomes. And if we are unable to imagine a positive future, we won’t create it!
Since 2007, the Centre for Alternative Technology’s solutions-focused Zero Carbon Britain research has clearly demonstrated that we have all the tools and technologies we need to reduce our emissions fast enough to offer us a good chance of avoiding the really serious climate impacts.
Even though time is tight, we can still do this. Our research over the past decade shows we have the tools and technologies needed to create a Zero Carbon Britain. We can power down the amount of energy we need to deliver society’s goals by 60% – by using smart new technology, by retrofitting homes, making public transport work for citizens, by switching to electric vehicles, by creating systems that allow us to walk or cycling more, by not designing things to break, by healthier diets, and wasting less food in the process. At the same time, all across this windswept island, clean, renewable technologies are ready and waiting to be powered up – their price has fallen faster than anyone predicted. And if they are owned by our towns, cities and regions we get the benefits and we get the jobs.
The only thing holding us back is political leadership. It’s the lack of realistic action that makes climate an emergency. However, since the release of the IPCC 1.5C report, there has been a growing social consensus that we must act. Grassroots leadership is emerging; city and town councils including London, Manchester, Bristol and Machynlleth have declared climate emergencies and are building plans to reach net-zero on timelines from 2030 to 2038. An amazing array of innovative and authentic community scale projects are appearing – warm homes, community energy, shared land, more women cycling, repair café’s, meaningful jobs, local healthy food – showing real life beginnings of a zero carbon future alive here in the present.
It’s time to come together to scale things up
The Centre for Alternative Technology is formally inviting anyone who has been working on climate solutions with a zero carbon context to a unique event on the 3rd May 2019. Directly following our Zero Carbon Britain training course (1st and 2nd May) and just before the amazing Machynlleth Comedy Festival (4th and 5th May, where we can stay and mingle), CAT will offer a facilitated open-space forum where participants can:
- Share good ideas of what works
- Explore how we can overcome barriers
- Highlight multi-solving opportunities
- Cross-fertilise new ideas and nurture unexpected outcomes
- Join forces to develop a movement to deliver the emergency solutions so urgently needed.
This is merely the start of the process for accelerating a Zero Carbon Britain practitioners network. We don’t expect anyone to come with all the answers, but to experience a coming together of like-minded practitioners who are singularly determined to support each other and identify our strategy for successfully applying the necessary pressure on our leaders to take this issue seriously and deliver the transformative change we urgently need to see.
Rising to such a major emergency unleashes a powerful sense of common purpose, as we see in our responses to major floods or terrorist attacks. There are resources within ourselves, and within our communities, waiting to spring into action. As more and more of us deeply accept the very serious nature of the climate challenge, it unites us across economic, cultural and political lines and offers a powerful sense of collective purpose.
Meet your tutors
Paul Allen is project coordinator for Zero Carbon Britain. He has been a member of the Wales Science Advisory Council (2010), board member of the International Forum for Sustainable Energy (2008) and a Climate Change Commissioner for Wales (2007). He holds an Honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and has been at CAT since 1988.