A climate change hustings for Holborn & St Pancras

This Wednesday we have a unique opportunity to quiz the candidates who are standing in the Holborn & St Pancras constituency on their responses to climate change – whether that’s from a fuel poverty & social justice, international negotiations, energy generation, transport, air pollution, or other perspectives. This will be a chance to demonstrate the importance of an ambitious response to the threat of climate change to our prospective MP.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party, Keir Starmer, Labour, Will Blair, Conservatives and Jill Fraser, Liberal Democrats, have confirmed to attend.

Date: Weds 8 April 2015
Time: 6.30pm
Location: Camden School for Girls, Sandall Rd, NW5 2DB

Register on Eventbrite for the event and to ask your question in advance.

There will also be the chance to ask a question on the night.

Follow #climatehustings on Twitter for updates from the evening.


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The Ugly Side of Fracking

In response to our government’s blinkered race for fracking, while snubbing the latest public opinion polls (74% against fracking under people’s homes without their permission, and 80% in favour of renewable energy), we wanted to visually capture how people FEEL about fracking – since their thoughts don’t seem to count.

And who can dispute one’s feelings?

So we’ve started asking the public to share with us their deepest fracking feelings and so far the response has been staggering. We came across many people who feel so strongly against fracking that they were well prepared to openly express their feelings in front of a camera no matter how ugly they appeared; intimidated, fearful, angry, shocked, disgusted, horrified, sad, shattered, furious, horrified, appalled, distressed…

Our stall at the London Permaculture Festival
Our stall at the London Permaculture Festival

And its not just the widespread public opposition to fracking that our government chooses to ignore, they have also disregarded the most reliable scientific expertise on earth when it comes to dealing with global warming (IPCC) who have highly recommended leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

64% of England is under consideration for controversial fracking by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This includes most of London and the entire borough of Camden. It may not seem likely to happen in Camden, but unless we get a firm commitment from our council to block any licences for drilling in the borough, we cannot be certain that it won’t happen in our own backyard.

Even the unthinkable scenario of fracking in Hampstead Heath might become a reality after our government recently announced that planning permission may still be granted in National Parks and areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty under “exceptional circumstances”.

For those who are unfamiliar with fracking, it is a risky technique used to extract shale gas by pumping water and toxic chemicals at high pressure into the ground, cracking open and fracturing the rock deep underground in order to release natural gas.

Fracking just a single shale gas well takes approximately 15 million litres of water, while the deceivingly small proportion of chemicals used in the mix – 0.5% – actually make up a staggering amount of 75,000 litres of chemicals per well.

Fracking risks

The UK Government has given the green light despite the fact that it contributes towards climate change, and mounting evidence from the USA and Australia that it can cause water contamination; there is plenty of footage caught on film of people setting fire to the dirty water that comes out of their taps due to the high concentration of gas that has leaked into the groundwater supply from nearby fracking sites.

The risk is especially high in the South East of England since almost 90% of our water supply comes from groundwater.

Even if the wild assumption that fracking will reduce energy bills in the future is correct, this must not come at the expense of risking contaminating our water supply, and compromising on the health of people and wildlife; particularly in our densely-populated area, with an increased risk of air pollution (which is already bad enough). Surely the answer to our energy problem lies in clean, low-impact, low-carbon and indefinitely renewable solutions such as wind and solar.

Fracking selfies

So we’re not terribly surprised to see how people react emotionally to the invasive idea of fracking, yet it’s quite spectacular to see just how wide the spectrum of emotions are out there.

If this resonates with you and you’re happy to sacrifice your good looks for the common good, please take one of the following actions:

Share with us your own #FrackingSelfie

On Twitter >> @CamdenFoE
On Facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/theuglysideoffracking

Sign our online petition
to call on Camden council to publicly oppose the controversial practice of fracking in our borough:

For further info about fracking –

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A Manifesto for sustainability

It’s voting time – this Thursday 22nd May we have the opportunity to send a message to Camden council about the issues we care about.

CamdenCAN (Camden Climate Action Network) have prepared a series of commitments, defined with lots of input from different local groups, including Camden Friends of the Earth. We are supporting this manifesto for sustainability and we’d like to see the candidates commit to the issues set out below, to take action on climate change and create a better environment in Camden.

Manifesto for sustainability

  • Continued commitment to the two carbon emission reduction targets of 27% by 2017 and 40% by 2020 from 2005 levels. Some specific provisions include:
    • Actively lobby central government and other parties for the ongoing decarbonisation of the grid by writing to both local MPs and responding to any formal consultation opportunities.
    • Identify new CHP (combined heat and power) opportunities and provide guidance & support to enable them & others that in the pipeline to come to fruition.
    • Invest in best opportunities identified in the mapping of the study into boroughwide secondary heat source mapping
    • Continued promotion (through Council networks) and support (with people, advice etc) of Superhomes and other opportunities for people to touch & feel an eco-friendly house.
    • Continued focus on fuel poverty focusing energy efficiency measures in low income households.
    • Develop an ongoing engagement strategy on a street by street basis through use of infra-red imagery and other similar ideas.
    • Publish useable guidance on energy efficiency within heritage buildings which allows some appropriate relaxation for the rules for certain energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation taking into account fully the recent consultation responses.
  • A commitment to supporting businesses who reuse waste, particularly electronic waste by
    • Identifying potential space for such businesses to be located close by Regis road either on a pop up on regular basis.
    • Ensuring the North London Waste Authority procurement contract for waste disposal include targets around overall waste reduction (through reuse & repair) as well as recycling
    • Include provision for electronic testing & repair in tender for give & take days
    • Evaluate other solutions such as a drop in centre for waste or quarterly pick up days
  • A continued commitment to the transport hierarchy remaining as is with walking, cycling & public transport being the key areas of focus
    • Support additional car free days, targeting one per quarter.
    • Put continued pressure on TFL to increase pedestrian crossing times at key junctions through public letters, minuted meetings etc
  • A commitment to the actions identified by the AQ (air quality) working group including lobbying, awareness and on freight & construction emissions. Hold a follow up air quality summit on an annual basis
  • A commitment to regular face to face consultation & communication with local voluntary organisations & individuals (not just businesses) through quarterly meetings with a selection of representatives from such groups (not just businesses) on a pre-scheduled basis.
  • To ensure any changes and updates to Camden Council’s planning documents reflect the principles of sustainability and adequate environmental protection
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Fashion & the environment photo competition

**Competition deadline extended until Sunday 16 March 2014**

Our London-wide photo competition on the theme of Fashion & the environment is open to all – interpret as you like! To enter, please send your photos to camdenfoe@gmail.com by midnight on Sunday 16 March 2014.

The shortlisted photographs will be printed and exhibited at the Red Hand Gallery as part of Friends of the Earth’s eco-fashion pop-up event. The winner will be announced on Saturday evening and will receive a prize on the theme of ‘Fashion and the environment’, while all the shortlisted photographers will be welcome to keep their own prints.

Photo competition terms & conditions
* Photos should be high res for printing at A4 size;
* Please include a brief caption or title for your photo, your name and email address;
* Each participant can enter up to 5 photos;
* All participants will be invited to the attend the photo exhibition at the Red Hand Gallery;
* All photos should be your own original work and you will retain copyright;
* By entering in your photos you agree to Camden Friends of the Earth publishing your photo online and in the photo exhibition (with full credit);
* Closing date midnight 16 March 2014.
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The Good Green Look: Pop-up eco friendly fashion event

Camden Friends of the Earth are holding a pop-up eco-friendly fashion event on Saturday 22 March 2014, 11am – 11pm at the Red Hand Gallery in Tufnell Park.

Join us to explore the green possibilities in the exciting world of fashion!

The pop-up will feature a vintage fair with local vintage & ethical fashion traders, clothes swapping, upcycling workshops and a vintage-themed evening event showcasing winners of our Fashion & the environment photo exhibition, delicious afternoon-tea cakes and live music.

Join us for a day of celebration of fashion statements from long-gone eras, and an exploration of the eco-friendly beauty of chic vintage and upcycled clothing.

Address: Red Hand Gallery, Upstairs at the Tufnell Park Tavern, 162 Tufnell Park Road, London N7 0EE

View/Download the flyer by clicking on the image below.

Camden Friends of the Earth Eco Fashion pop-up Saturday 22 March 2014

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More Than Honey film screening

Camden Friends of the Earth are screening the award-winning documentary More than Honey on Thursday 28th November at 6.30pm at St Martin’s Church in Gospel Oak, (Vicar’s Road, NW5 4NL).

Free entry – all welcome. Refreshments will be available.

Please share and invite anyone else you know who may be interested!
Download a PDF poster for the screening here. Find the Facebook event page here.

More Than Honey

About More than Honey:

Einstein once said: “If bees ever die out, mankind will have only four years left to live”. In the past five years, billions of honeybees simply vanished for reasons still obscure. If the bees keep dying, it will have drastic effects for humans as well: more than one third of our food production depends on pollination by honeybees and their life and death are linked to ours.

Life without the bee is unthinkable. But, between pesticides, antibiotics and monoculture, the queens and their workers are losing their power.

More than Honey, a new documentary by the Swiss filmmaker Marcus Imhoof, is looking into the fascinating world of bees, showing small family beekeepers and industrialized honey farms. More than Honey is a film about the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future. Honeybees show us that stability is just as unhealthy as unlimited growth, that crises and disasters are triggering evolution.

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Fracking is a dirty word in Camden

Camden Friends of the Earth today called on Camden Council to swear that it would not allow fracking operations in the London Borough of Camden.

Susan, Nikki and Jess are shocked at the idea of fracking

Local residents joined campaigners to demand that the council declare itself frack-free ahead of a possible new round of licensing that could pave the way for much of the country to be fracked.

The Friends of the Earth group set up a swear box at Camden Lock to make it clear that they believe that ‘fracking’ is a dirty f-word that is not welcome in Camden.

The group spoke to dozens of concerned residents and passers-by who were invited to sign postcards addressed to the Leader of the council to say ‘no’ to fracking and send a message to the Government that fracking is a dirty word.

Jess Gold of Camden Friends of the Earth said:

‘Almost everybody we spoke to today said that they don’t want to see fracking – the dirty f-word – in Camden.’

‘Fracking produces more dirty fossil fuels that will cause more climate change and even the Government and the frackers admit is unlikely to lower our bills.

‘We want Camden Council to oppose fracking and we want the Government to get behind renewables and energy saving instead.’

Next year the Government’s dash for gas could quicken as it hopes to open vast swathes of the country to possible fracking with a new round of licensing. This could bring the threat of fracking to thousands more people’s doorsteps although Camden Council as the local planning authority has the power to prevent this.

The Government’s plans to punch thousands of holes across the country is at odds with public opinion. Recent polling shows that 52% of people would support wind turbines being built within 10 miles of their house compared to just 18% who would support shale wells.

Why we don’t want fracking

Fracking is a dirty word. The Government is threatening to puncture our green and pleasant land with countless fracking wells in a headlong dash for gas, with little thought to local people. Shale gas is a dirty fossil fuel that contributes to climate change, and it poses serious local environmental risks such as water contamination and shortages. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it won’t lower fuel bills, and it risks taking much-needed investment away from renewables and energy saving. For more information visit www.foe.co.uk/fracking

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Hives…Honey… Homicide! Mikron Theatre at the Pirate Castle

Join us for a bee-themed evening as we welcome Mikron Theatre company to perform their new play ‘Beyond the Veil’ at the Pirate Castle, part of our summer of campaigning on the Bee Cause.

Mikron Theatre Company presents

Beyond the Veil

Sunday 7 July 2013

(Doors open 7pm)

The Pirate Castle
Oval Road, London NW1 7EA

Beyond the Veil

Description of the show:

DCI Mark Starkey thinks he’s got a quiet patch in sleepy Thistledale, but all that is about to change dramatically when there’s a sudden, unnatural death on the local allotment…
The grisly discovery down by the beehives is only the beginning for Detective Starkey. To unmask the murderer he must first uncover an altogether less savoury side of life in Thistledale; the bitter grudges, thwarted passions and murky pasts.
And then there are the bees.
The life of the honeybee might be described as one of great sweetness and harmony, punctuated by sudden, desperate, acts of violence. The same could be said for Thistledale.  Detective Starkey soon realises that the more he knows about bees, the closer he gets to the killer!

Before the play, we’ll have a short presentation on the Bee Cause campaign, and honey-based sweet treats and other refreshments will be available.

A collection will be taken after the performance.

Please share the Facebook event.

View the trailer:

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Clean Energy photo exhibition: now open!

The Clean Energy Photo Exhibition is now on display upstairs at The Forge in Camden Town until the end of June.

With photos from the Create Energy in Camden photo competition and the Friends of the Earth UK clean energy photo competition, it showcases a wide variety of beautiful images of clean energy in Camden and beyond! We hope it will inspire you.

Clean Energy Photo Exhibition, the Forge, Camden

Thanks to all who made the photo exhibition launch on Tuesday a success. We were privileged to hear the premiere of Jess Gold‘s new song, “Old to a Climate Sceptic”, and guest speakers – Ollie Hayes from Friends of the Earth Clean British Energy Campaign; Anna Ware from Camden Council; and Amy Cameron from Solar Schools – shared insights and inspiration on clean energy campaigning and action.

Congratulations to the winning photographers Daniela Romanò, Elizabeth Jameson and Alex Santacreu, voted for by guests on the night.

View photos from the launch evening – and the winning photos.

Guests at the Clean Energy Photo launch

If you know of a venue that would like to show the photos after the end of June please do let us know, we’d love to be able to show the photos as widely as possible!

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Clean Energy Photo exhibition

Camden Friends of the Earth

Invite you to the Launch and Private View of our

Clean Energy

Photographic Exhibition

featuring winning photos from the Friends of the Earth Clean British Energy
and the Create Energy in Camden! photography competitions

Tuesday 4 June 2013, 6.30 – 8pm

at The Foundry, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden Town, NW1 7NL

Guest speakers include:
Ollie Hayes – Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner
Anna Ware – Sustainability Manager, Camden Council
10:10 Solar Schools campaign

Join us to view some beautiful and inspirational photos of clean energy and find out more about how we can support green energy in Camden and across the UK.

We also invite everyone at the private view to vote for the winner of the Create Energy in Camden! photo competition. There will also be the premiere of Jess Gold’s new song, “An ode to a climate sceptic”.  Canapés & refreshments will be provided.

Book your free ticket

All welcome, however space at the private view is limited, please book your free ticket at http://cleanenergycamden.eventbrite.com to confirm your place

This event is free but donations are encouraged to help us cover costs (suggested £5).

Please also join and share the Facebook event for the exhibition.

If you can’t make it to the private view/launch event, the exhibition will be showing at the Forge for a couple of weeks following the launch – please pop by and see it when you can!

** Photo competition deadline extended**

We have extended the deadline for the Create Energy in Camden photo competition until midnight on Monday 27 May to give more people a chance to enter – if you haven’t sent your energy-themed photos in to us yet please do!

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