Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change
The potential for community-led local sustainability initiatives to play a key role in a transition towards a low-carbon economy has been acknowledged by both policymakers and researchers. To date, such initiatives have predominantly been established through the efforts of volunteers, resulting in a scattered uptake across towns, cities and other communities in the UK and further afield. In a context where local and national Government are increasingly seeking to deliver local action on climate change in partnership with community organisations, is it possible or desirable for Government and other publicly funded bodies to successfully set up these grassroots initiatives “from the outside” where none exist already? This paper describes a project which explored this question through the provision of a 2-year programme of support for local action on climate change in a sub-region of the UK. Community development strategies were employed with a view to establishing new grassroots climate change initiatives in a range of different communities. The results indicate some potential for the strategy to meet with success, with several new groups and small-scale projects being established as a result. However, the short lifespan of many of the organisations set up and the relatively low impact on carbon emission reduction of their activities raises questions about the effectiveness of grassroots initiatives and how support of their activities can be delivered most effectively to maximise impact and improve cost effectiveness.
Citation : Reeves, A., Lemon, M. and Cook, D. (2014) Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change. Energy Efficiency, 7 (1), pp. 115-132
ISSN : 1570-6478
Research Group : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
Research Institute : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)
Peer Reviewed : Yes