July 2018 Newsletter
This month we celebrated Hope for the Future's Fifth Birthday!
On Friday 13th July we held an exhibition of our work and a drinks reception at our offices in Sheffield. In this month's newsletter, our Chair of Trustees reflects on Hope for the Future's first five years and looks forward to the next five years of our journey. We've also included some snaps from our birthday party so you can glimpse some of our exhibition pieces!
Letter from Jo, Our Director
This month, amidst the scorching heat, Hope for the Future held it's Five Year Birthday Celebrations showcasing our work to bring climate change to the attention of the UK's policy makers. With the weather featuring this summer as a regular news feature, rather than the normal follow up piece, there's little doubt that we are witnessing climate change in the here and now. Hope, the premise of all our work over the last five years, will keep us resilient and creative in our campaigning. so if you are looking for some genuine reasons to stay hopeful, take a look at the July 'Good News' Round-up below.
Last month you voted for a new resource on the zero carbon budget. Our researcher, Laura, is hard at work to bring this to you in next month's newsletter, but in the meantime you can take a look at summary blog post written below Laura here.
Hope for the Future has been funded to offer free climate change workshops to any secondary school in Yorkshire, so if you do know if any schools or students who might be interested, please let us know.
Finally, with five years of hard work under our belts we would like to say a huge thank you to each and every person who has helped us in our work researching the most effective means of communicating climate change with MPs. As always, please get in touch with us here if you would like any lobbying support, or if you have any comments or suggestions for our team.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE LOOKS BACK – AND THINKS AHEAD
Glyn Turton, Chair of Trustees
July was a good month for Hope for the Future – one in which we paused to look back and to look forward. At a development day on the 10th, we thought long and hard about our future, and three days later, we were joined by our many friends and supporters at a fifth birthday party to celebrate the successes of our past.
Five years ago, a small group of friends who attended the same church, decided that something must be done about climate change – and that that something must be influencing politicians to take action. From this initial conviction came the idea of helping others to challenge our elected representatives on what is surely the most urgent problem facing the world. After four years of hard, voluntary work, testing out our ideas on how that might be done, we finally became a registered charity in the summer of 2017. Since then, our small team of paid staff and our much larger group of volunteers have become recognised as leaders in the field of training citizens to petition their MPs and councillors about the dangers of global warming.
But how do we sustain and expand our activity? To that question we turned our minds on July 10th. With the invaluable help of our facilitator, Nick Nuttgens of the University of Sheffield, staff and trustees examined every aspect of our current activity, reaffirmed our commitment to action on the climate, and looked at ways in which we might secure additional funding. In doing this, we were under no illusions as to the challenges that lie ahead; these are difficult times for all charities. But what gives us our strength is the certainty that we have found a winning formula that brings benefits for all those with whom we engage: for the groups of citizens, in whom we build capacity and confidence; for our many volunteer workers who gain experience and insight; and for the MPs and councillors who come to appreciate the concerns of their constituents and the importance of responding to those concerns.
As we worked through the issues that arose on our development day, one thing assumed particular prominence: our reliance on those who support us, and the need to increase their number. Our birthday celebrations on the 13th July gave us a splendid opportunity to gather together those who are already our friends and to thank them for all they have done for us. But it also allowed us to showcase our work in a splendid exhibition and to put out an appeal for the support, both moral and material, that will enable us to consolidate and then to grow. The appreciation, the congratulations and the plaudits we received on that memorable evening gave us all a tremendous boost and inspired us to work hard for a cause in which we passionately believe.
While you await the zero carbon budget, Hope for the Future's researcher, Laura D'Henin, reports on the zero carbon target in this month's blog.
The current emission reduction target for the UK is 80% reduction against 1990 levels by 2050, as set out in the Climate Change Act (2008). Increasing the ambition from an 80% reduction to a zero carbon target is particularly important if the UK is to meet its commitments laid out in the Paris Agreement, and because the proposals as outlined in the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy are not sufficient to achieve the fourth and fifth carbon budgets (2023-2032). Read the full blog post here.
July 'Good News' Round-up
This month has seen some good news for renewable energy:
- The UK Government has confirmed plans for doubling offshore wind capacity in the next decade. The plans could mean that almost a third of Britain’s power is generated by offshore wind turbines by 2030. Read the full story here.
- Community Energy Fortnight was a success, putting on a total of 162 events across the UK to showcase the people power behind small scale renewables, showing that when people come together we can achieve a lot. View this map to take a look at the events which took place.
- Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland, the first of it's kind using new technology, has begun exporting energy to the grid. Once the project is finished in 2019, it will power 450,000 homes.
This month has also seen some positive news for electric vehicles:
- The Government released their 'Road to Zero' Strategy which included a target for at least half of new cars and 40% of new vans to be ultra low emission by 2030. The Road to Zero Strategy also said that all new homes and offices must install electric vehicle charging points as a standard.
- Ofgem has announced plans for 'flexible charging' which encourages electric vehicle owners to charge their cars when the electricity is cheaper. The system would be able to accommodate a 60% increase in electric vehicles wanting to use the grid. Read more about Ofgem's plans here.
Our researchers, Laura and Tom, are working hard to bring you up to date and relevant briefings so that you can always feel prepared when meeting with your MP.
This month's is Nature and Wildlife!
Click the button here to read the full report.
Also - don't forget to check out our other resources where you can find information on tailoring 'asks' of your MP on this issue and others.
We have many more resources coming soon but if there is any issue in particular that you would like a briefing on then please don't hesitate to let us know!