Our new campaign The Bee Cause launched last week, with a pop-up bee-friendly wildflower meadow outside the National Theatre on the South Bank.
Action on bees is now more urgent than ever - you may have read recent news of the impact of harmful pesticides on bees. Together with other Friends of the Earth groups across the UK we’re campaigning for the importance of bees to be recognised by the government with a National Bee Action plan.
Help us help the bees!
- Please sign the Bee Cause petition to David Cameron.
- Come along to our next monthly meeting, Tues 1 May, 7.30-9pm at the Pirate Castle, Oval Rd, to help plan our bee-themed picnic, bee debate, and Vanishing of the Bees film screenings
- Join the “Bee Prepared” Bee Campaign Training day this Saturday 21 April
- Practical action: if you have a window box, balcony or even a garden, plant bee-friendly flowers or herbs like marjoram, thyme and chives which provide food for bees all year round.
Other local events
Lots of other groups are buzzing about bees! Here’s a couple of other events locally:
* InMidtown Habitats Exhibition showcasing urban beehive designs, Unit 5, Central Saint Giles until 17 April
* “How to create a garden that bees will love“, Honey Club, Kings Cross, 25 April
Know of any more bee-related events in Camden?
Please add them in the comments below!
We’ve spent the last few months campaigning on our Final Demand campaign, getting signatures for our petition asking the government for a public inquiry into the power and influence of the Big Six energy companies.
The petition was very popular in Camden; we got hundreds of signatures at our stalls, and we had some great days campaigning including at the People’s Supermarket Global Farmers Market - our stall at the lovely event in Queen Square, Bloomsbury is pictured below.
The campaign has already scored a “win” as the Supreme Court ruled the Government illegally lowered incentives for solar energy by cutting the Feed-in-Tariff before its consultation had ended (Read more on this here). The support for the Final Demand petition makes it clear that people want more support for locally produced clean energy, and asks the government not to cut support for local renewable energy.
The petition for Final Demand was handed in last week to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, with tens of thousands of signatures from people across the UK.
We’ll be launching the next stage of the campaign soon, on Clean British Energy with campaign stalls at various summer fairs locally. If you’d like to get involved and help our campaign to support locally produced, clean energy, please get in touch or check out our events calendar for upcoming campaign opportunities.No comments
We love sustainable transport - we even made a sustainable transport treasure trail!
Camden Council have some innovative initiatives around sustainable transport including Green Streets Fitzrovia and free car club membership for the first 150 residents to give up their resident parking permits.
However we are worried that TfL’s plan to roll out pedestrian countdown crossings across the borough will reduce pedestrian crossing times in favour of motor vehicles - as seen at Oxford Circus.
We recently wrote to Camden Council on this issue:
As we said on 26 February 2011 in our response to Camden’s draft transport strategy, there is evidence that TfL is using Pedestrian Countdown at Traffic Signals (PCaTS) in order to allocate more “green-light time” to traffic against pedestrian movements. This is consequently offering more capacity for traffic volumes and speed to increase, and is further severing communities living along busy roads. This is also reducing attractiveness and accessibility of streets to pedestrians.
For these reasons, we would appreciate if Camden Council could answer the following two questions:
- How will the Council ensure that new pedestrian countdowns are neither used to reduce pedestrian crossing time nor used to deliberately increase capacity for traffic on streets in Camden?
- As part of roll-out of PCaTS at 220 sites, how many are planned in Camden and at which junctions?
We are awaiting a response.No comments
Camden Council has joined Friends of the Earth and other local authorities across the country in objecting to the Government’s consultation proposals to cut Feed-in-tariff (FiT) rates for solar electricity projects.
A news article on Camden’s website Camden Council slams government’s bid to cut solar feed-in-tariffs states:
The FiT currently guarantees an income to installers of solar electricity panels and is instrumental in supporting low carbon growth in Camden.
As well as cutting FiT rates, the government’s latest review makes two other controversial proposals: firstly it proposes to bring forward the cuts to a date prior to the close of the consultation and secondly it further reduces rates to organisations that install more than one solar system.
Camden challenged both of these proposals through the consultation process and made its submission on 20 December 2011.
Over 200 councils, businesses, organisations and MPs nationwide, have signed up to support our Final Demand joint statement. Signatories include Cllr Sean Birch, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Transport, together with a number of other Camden councillors and representatives of local community groups and businesses in Camden. The statement asks the Government to urgently rethink its proposed changes to solar energy policies, specifically, the cut to the feed-in tariff. Read the full statement here.
Sign our Final Demand petition
Over 100 people in Camden have also signed our Final Demand petition, asking David Cameron
- To launch an independent public inquiry into the Big Six’s power over consumers and influence over politicians.
- Not to axe support for clean British energy produced by communities, councils, business and householders.
The Big Six energy companies make billions in profits each year and the Government is letting them get away with it.
If you haven’t already please sign the petition online and join the 20,000+ people nationwide who’ve already signed.
Join us on Thursday 8 December for a public meeting on ‘Why Noise Matters‘
with guest speaker environmental campaigner and author John Stewart
at the Marchmont Street Community Centre, WC1N 1AB from 7pm
The author and environmental activist John Stewart will be speaking on the impact everyday noise can have on us and what we can or should be doing about it.
Is noise the most neglected green issue of our age? Find out about noise as a social, cultural, environmental and health issue and how we can act to build a more peaceful world.No comments
On 21 November, Jess and Alex have been to the Air Quality Summit, jointly organised by Camden and Islington Councils. Here’s their report:
Professor Frank Kelly (King’s College) started the summit on the impacts of air pollution. With 29,000 death per year in the UK, this kills more than road collisions! more than alcoholism! Note that for each of those victims, pollution is causing the loss of 11 years of life on average. He talked in great details of some of the most harmful pollutants: the particulate matters (PM) emitted by diesel vehicles. PM10 are six times thinner than a hair, and yet very harmful. One of the most alarming issue is their effect on the development of children’s lung. For more resources, please refer to comeap.org.uk
Isabel Dedring (Deputy Mayor for Transport) helped us identify the sources of PM10 and NOx. On the one hand, PM10 is a typically transport related pollution, with enormous contributions from the black cabs and from ‘tyre & brake wear’. On the other hand, NOx is a more complex issue, to which traffic but also gas boilers contribute to a great extent. When asked by a conservative councillor why the Mayor didn’t do more to reduce congestion, she pointed out that quicker journey times would generate more demand for car travel. We were happily surprised by this wise position.
Simon Birkett (Clean Air in London, @CleanAirLondon) pointed out that the Environment Audit Committee, in their latest report [link to the EAC report] is talking of a ‘national scandal’ caused by the inaction of the government on air quality. On Euston road, a stone’s throw away from the Council Chamber, the average level of NO2 is three times the legal limit. Already 40 Germany cities have implemented low emission zones (LEZ). What are we waiting for? And are we protected indoors? He recommends us to check if our offices’ ventilation system comply with the EN 13779 standard.
Roger Madelin, developper of the new land behind Kings Cross, has given an enthusiastic talk of which we can remember two points:
- Euston Road has had its capacity severely reduced over months during the rebuild of St Pancras Station around 2004: the road network system didn’t collapse, traffic levels through the area simply dropped! That’s a lesson to learn for decision makers contemplating a reallocation of road space!
- His developments will rely on a heat network, hence preventing the use of individual boilers and reducing NOx emissions.
Lucinda Turner (TfL) was presenting the range of policies which TfL is implementing. In particular, TfL is campaigning for motorists to turn off their engines as soon as they plan stopping for more than 1 minute, which is allegedly the environmental threshold beyond which savings can be made. She also acknowledges that electric vehicles are not ideal considering that they cause congestion, severance… [+ collisions and obesity, which we would add to her words]
Many thanks to Cllr Paul Braithwaite and Cllr Sean Birch for their leadership in organising this meeting. The speaker’s presentations, but also the complete video of the event, have now been uploaded to the Camden Council websiteNo comments
Alex, Jess and Susan from Camden Friends of the Earth joined the Campaign Against Climate Change Climate Justice march to Parliament on Saturday 3 December.
Did you know?
7% of the world’s population produce 50% of the world’s emissions
7% of the world’s emissions are produced by 50% of the world’s population
“David Cameron” even joined us on the march! Photos below.
Couldn’t join the march but still want to take action? Find climate change campaign actions on the Friends of the Earth website.
Our letter on cycle safety and traffic speeds in Camden is published in this week’s Camden New Journal (Thurs November 10 2011):
Over the last 10 years London has made real advances in getting people out of their cars and into cycling.
Despite many more cyclists on the road there are clearly concerns about whether Transport for London is taking the increasing cycle safety needs seriously.
We were really pleased to see that Councillor Paul Braithwaite had brought a motion to Camden Council on tackling known dangerous hotspots and junctions. This is essential to reassure cyclists, in particular women, they are welcome on the roads.
We’d also like to see more initiatives that encourage cycling, including extending London’s cycle hire scheme into new areas.
The Twenty’s Plenty campaign to roll out more 20mph zones would do a great deal to make neighbourhoods nicer to live in as well as making a significant reduction in road deaths.
If we want more parents to feel confident to send their kids off to school by foot or bike, for example, we need to cut the speed of the traffic they are expected to negotiate.
Camden Friends of the Earth
The council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Transport, Cllr Sean Birch, has assured us that “Camden has been lobbying and working with TfL and the Camden Cycling Campaign to identify the key areas in Camden that are of a danger to cyclists and pedestrians. Our whole transport strategy is geared towards road safety and the encouragement of sustainable forms of transport.” And that the council “will continue to work with TfL and lobby when necessary to make our streets as safe and welcoming as they can be for cyclists and pedestrians.”
We look forward to seeing appropriate action being taken by Camden Council and TfL to address known dangerous junctions and roads. We also support Camden’s current proposal to change its contractual conditions to include Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) accredited operators.
See the London Cycling Campaign Camden for more on action needed to make our streets safer.
Do you have ideas about making Camden greener? Come along to our workshop and share your thoughts!
Camden council are creating a Green Camden resource to help people who live in Camden to be more eco friendly and to take environmental action. Join our workshop with the Camden Sustainability team on Tuesday to help feed into and develop ideas for this resource.
When - 7pm on Tuesday 8 November
Where - the Pirate Castle, Oval Rd, NW1 7EA
If you’re interested in joining the workshop please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how much space we need. All are welcome (you don’t need to have been to a Camden FoE meeting before)No comments
Our Camden up Close Treasure Trail is featured in this week’s Ham & High newspaper (Thursday 29 September).
A photo and short article on page 2 detail the activities at the Belsize green fair and our treasure hunt.
Camden Friends of the Earth hosted an eco-friendly treasure hunt across the borough.
Enthusiastic treasure seekers used only sustainable transport to hunt out clues, beginning at Camden Market and ending at the urban farm festival.
Photo: Camden treasure hunters Rosa and Ashley with trail organiser Natasha Clayton, of Camden Friends of the Earth
Click the images to view the article in full.
Want to try out the treasure trail for yourself?
If you’d like to try out the treasure trail in your own time, you can download the Camden up Close Treasure Trail directions (pdf).1 comment