There’s something everyone can do to take effective climate action. Britain has some of the least energy-efficient housing in Europe and it is estimated that 56% of greenhouse emissions in Redbridge are from buildings. The Great Homes Upgrade campaigns for the Government to commit an additional £11.7bn towards retrofits of existing buildings.
As well as being essential to solving the climate crisis, installing insulation and powering homes with clean energy is the fastest way to tackle fuel poverty and would lower bills for millions, create hundreds of skilled jobs in Redbridge, reduce NOx pollution, and stop Britain funding petro-states including Russia. Everybody would win, but unfortunately government is not acting with the speed and co-ordination needed.
Here are four or five effective things we think are worth your time right now. If you only do one, please do sign up to WCA so we can remind you about the others!
1: Please sign up to keep in touch with Wanstead Climate Action’s campaigns
(You don’t have to live in Wanstead to join, but you may have other East London groups nearer you.)
2: Write to your MP
This may take a little more time, but you only need two paragraphs to ask if your MP or councillors will support a Great Homes Upgrade. You can write, email or use something like Write To Them. NEF provides a 1-2 page template letter and a slightly outdated page to email your MP, and we have some template letters here that we hope are up-to-date for spending decisions due around September 2022. You might like to mention draughty and leaky homes, energy prices and Ukraine as well as carbon dioxide emissions from gas heating. Your MP might email a minister for finance or ‘levelling up’, or ask a parliamentary question. Please let us know if you get a response, as it’s often effective to follow up.
We also want to encourage councils to do what they can most effectively with their limited funds. Use the contact form above if you have an idea you’d like to pursue with us.
3: Also sign up to one or more national campaigns
The national Great Homes Upgrade campaign is here. This is a campaign of NEF, the New Economics Foundation – they only send about one email a month, and provide proposals, analysis, a toolkit for local organising.
Fuel Poverty Action’s #Energy4All campaign.
All of the above include outline policies for reducing dependence on gas imports and for economic justice.
4: Consider how to improve your own home’s energy efficiency
Major works can daunt even committed people and there is a lack of practical support and information for local residents to reduce their emissions and bills long-term. Wanstead Climate Action aren’t experts in energy efficiency, but we’ve seen what can be achieved even in Victorian terraces and have started a resource list, including grants and advice that may be available. Reducing your heating bill now is also probably one of the most effective actions for a climate-safe future.
5: Spread the word!
It’s often said the most important thing to do in the face of the climate emergency is to talk about it. We want to discuss and remove the obstacles to the vital project of upgrading buildings, which will increasingly become tangible and visible. So please see if friends and family might be interested in joining the campaign too.