The Paris deal: a day to celebrate, but…

CoP21 Negotiators(640x360)

In what I think is genuinely a day to celebrate, we have a legally binding climate deal from the Paris COP21 negotiations.

The French did a great job on running the incredibly complex negotiations, resulting in an agreement that is stronger than anyone dared hope two weeks ago. The process was transparent, democratic and flexible and these values seem to have continued into the final text.

It is the first time in history rich, poor and emerging economies have made a joint commitment to tackle climate change, aiming to limit warming to “well below 2C”. There’s also the aspirational goal of limiting it to the safer 1.5C. Continue reading

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President Tong & Richard Denniss

President Tong & Richard Denniss

Last night we felt priveleged to hear Anote Tong, the President of Kiribati, call for no new coal mines. Before being invited I knew next to nothing about the pacific island state of Kiribati: straddling the equator and the international dateline, it was a British colony (The Gilbert and Ellice Islands) until 1979. Continue reading

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Climate Ribbons

Ribbon Tree (640x360)As part of the Climate Ribbon project we brought dozens of ribbons from Cambridge on which people had written WHAT THEY LOVE AND HOPE TO NEVER LOSE TO CLIMATE CHAOS. Thanks Jenny & other who  helped gathering them. Continue reading

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CCF Paris Workshop

Workshop (640x360)

We’d offered to run a CCF workshop about personal footprints: “How to stop feeling helpless” at Climat Forum at a fairly bleak school in the Paris suburb of Montreuil. We only had confirmation a week ago. Publicity was minimal. Would anyone come?  Continue reading

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UK Innovators in Paris

Outside Climate Solutions (640x360)

Extra security in Paris is undersandable but there were 2 events we couldn’t get into.

On Friday night we went to the launch of Energy Unlocked, a new UK organisation supporting low-carbon energy innovation. It’s a small startup, which attracted low-carbon business organisations over a remarkable range of scale:    Continue reading

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Greener gifting

Green gifts?

Green gifts?

I love Christmas. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, putting Christmas decorations up, and making my great grandmother’s Christmas puddings. But I find Christmas stressful too. It’s difficult finding gifts I know my family will love, but which don’t make me feel bad because I know they have high carbon emissions. Continue reading

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An inspiring week

CCF waits for the climate march to begin

CCF waits for the climate march to begin

I am writing this at the start of the Climate Change talks in Paris after an inspiring week that has left me hopeful that we can overcome the huge challenges we are facing from climate change.

On Monday night I joined over 80 other interested people from Cambridge Continue reading

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Paris here we come


Anne & I will be in Paris from Thu 3 to Tue 8 December, attending some of the numerous fringe events. We hope to learn and share ideas with people and organisations like CCF from all over the world. Continue reading

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Cambridge Carbon Message

CCMessage signing (641x360) .jpgTom Bragg, CCF Chair

Signing the Cambridge Climate Message, on behalf of CCF, felt like connecting with the bigger picture: the Paris Climate talks, the coming low-carbon Cambridge and the people & organisations working for it.

The message is:
“We, the people and organisations of the city of Cambridge in the UK, support local and global efforts to take action on climate change. We recognise the serious threat which climate change poses to everyone everywhere. Continue reading

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Climate Change – What Can You Do?


John Turner, CCF Volunteer

I recently read a fascinating article from The Guardian who asked ten green leaders at the forefront of the climate movement for simple steps ordinary people can take in the fight against climate change. The answers ranged from political activism and support for government initiatives through to lifestyle changes you can make in your daily life. Continue reading

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Why do pumpkins need rescuing? The Cambridge #PumpkinRescue Festival


Bev Sedley, Chair of Cambridge Sustainable Food

Everyone loves pumpkins and at this time of year pumpkins are the belle of the ball – Halloween is the UK’s second largest retail festival after Christmas –so why on earth do pumpkins need rescuing? Continue reading

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Hosting Open Eco Homes

CCF_DSC3612 16f cropped 5x4

Anne shows off her DIY demountable window awnings

Anne Miller
(Home F, in Open Eco Homes 2015)

When Tom suggested last year that we should be an Open Eco Home, I was a little nervous: Did we have enough to show people? Would they criticise my standards of housework? Looking back, those fears seem rather irrational, but they were real at the time, and I suspect quite common amongst other Open Eco Home hosts.

We’ve steadily been improving our home (an Edwardian terrace) since 2001, and this has had a substantial impact on our energy use. Our gas consumption is a quarter of what it was Continue reading

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I am a newcomer to politics…

Oscar Gillespie at the WI and CCF stall at the Strawberry Fair 2015

Oscar Gillespie

I am a newcomer to politics – I have been involved with CCF and Transition for a few years but it felt to me that things were not happening quickly enough. The environmental crisis is building and building, and despite “the sixth great extinction” being caused by human actions, we seem to stay in the same destructive, unimaginative rut.

I decided that the best way to make a difference was to volunteer for the Green Party, and I went to a social in 2013 with the idea of giving out leaflets. I agreed to stand as a candidate, and in 2014 I stood in Abbey Ward, coming second. I did my share of deliveries as well, giving out the Green World magazine in Castle Ward, but it was unsatisfying to visit all these houses and not to have a discussion with the inhabitants. Market Ward was our best result in 2014, and when the time came to throw our hats in the ring for the contest, I made a bid for Market Ward. I live just outside the ward, but spend a lot of time there, being a member of the Buddhist Centre community.

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Nearly at the end!

WWII Rationing Challenge: Week 4

Ann Mitchell

 Rationing Feast

The last week of rationing has more challenging, as we have restricted ourselves to what is available locally and seasonally as well sticking to rationed items. So no bananas, oranges, lemons, olives this week. Lunches have been salads with some bread and Marmite or chutney, evening meals have been easy because the range of vegetables and soft fruit available has given us lots of variety, but breakfast! Oh dear! Porridge oats (uncooked because I do not like porridge) with just a spoonful of jam or cooked soft fruit and milk are decidedly soggy and unappetising, and I reverted to wholemeal toast with a scraping of marmalade for two days.

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Joining the WWII Rationing Challenge


Having been away for the start of the challenge, coming back to England on the ferry from Hoek in Holland, I decided to partake of a substantial early supper on the ship.  Unfortunately it was dreadful and mostly inedible, so I started the austerity a little earlier than planned.

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