What, another organisation?
Yes, we know. And we are enthused about the work of lots that are already working away. But we do believe there’s stuff to do in our region that doesn’t fit the agenda of anyone who is already out there, including bringing other organisations together whenever possible.
About climate, right?
Mainly that, to start with. But, you know, start to think seriously about climate, energy, and energy systems, and you’ll quickly have to talk about transport, building standards, land use, food. We could go on…
Please don’t. Tell me what Zero West can do that’s different.
We think it’s about scale. We can all do stuff around the home, or the neighbourhood. But that doesn’t feel enough.
You’re telling me. That’s why they call it global change, after all.
So it is. Yet we can’t get our heads round a whole planet, even though we can build pictures of things like its average temperature or how much greenhouse gas there is in the entire atmosphere. But in a region of a million people or so…
Can you be more specific?
For starters, we see possibilities for some large energy projects that can happen if the right organisations across the region can be brought together. They align with the goal of reducing our carbon emissions. Zero carbon will need effort in other areas, too, perhaps aiming for carbon neutrality rather than no carbon emissions at all.
Hmm, the “region”. Something West: West of what?
We begin with the West of England, or the “Counties that used to be Avon” (CUBA!), but we’ll keep the boundary loose. We still want to talk to you if you’re in Bradford-on-Avon or Frome, and some energy generation may well happen farther afield.
But there are loads of things happening in all those places already. Every City seems to have a zero carbon plan, or have declared a climate emergency already.
Yes! But signs the transition to a new energy system is picking up make us keener to get to work. However much is happening, it isn’t fast enough (locally, or globally). And we don’t think people realise how far renewable energy technology has come, and what is truly possible. We’re about raising the level of ambition here.
That will depend on the scale it is best to work at. Expanding offshore wind, for example, is leading into national discussions. Improving people’s homes can begin more locally.
Doesn’t it all get terribly complicated?
Energy stuff can get pretty technical, pretty quickly. When we explain things on this site, we do try and write so it’s clear to anyone. We don’t always succeed. If there’s a topic where you think it would help if we began more simply, please let us know.
One thing we really want to do is put together a vision of how the region would look if it was organised around sustainable prosperity, and what it would be like to live here. We believe that the energy transition can help us move toward a more convivial, and more fulfilling, life. We want help to work out how that could work for everyone.
Sounds a bit wishy-washy
Well, we’ll begin with solid data, and we’ll bring that into proper energy modelling – which will feed into a broader collaborative, creative effort to envision our future.
Are you sure it isn’t another bunch of greenies chasing pie-in-the-sky, though?
If it’s just that, we fail. We’re going to work hard to involve as many different people as we can, across the region, in creating a sense of a better future that is actually possible – and how we can get there. Join us!