Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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28 Sep 2009

Miliband to Unveil the ‘Low Carbon Communities Challenge’

lowcarbchallTransition Culture can reveal this morning that Ed Miliband will announce today, at the Labour Party conference, the ‘Low Carbon Communities Challenge’, a programme which may well be of considerable interest to some Transition initiatives out there.  You can download the introductory letter here, and the full information pack, including application forms, here.   The introductory letter explains the Challenge thus;

“We are launching the Low Carbon Communities Challenge, a two-year programme to provide financial and advisory support to 20 ‘test-bed’ communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that are seeking to cut carbon emissions, support inward investment and foster community leadership.

The Challenge is focused on communities already taking action, or facing change, in the area as a result of climate change – they may be a Warm Zone, eco-town or low carbon community, or a potential candidate for a wind farm, electric cars or community-scale retrofitting of homes – and with an interest in using this to spur an ambitious, integrated programme of carbon reductions in the area. If you are working with such a community I am writing to invite you to apply to participate in the Challenge.

It looks like a very exciting opportunity for some Transition initiatives to draw down some significant funding for putting in place some nuts and bolts renewables/carbon reduction technologies. The Government is making £10 million available between the 20 successful applicants, and those communities can also expect support from a range of organisations who are partnering the Challenge, including the Energy Savings Trust and the Carbon Trust.  The Labour Party’s website quotes Miliband as saying of the Challenge;

We’re searching for communities across the country to kick start the low carbon revolution. The Challenge is an opportunity for communities to lead the way so that everyone can play their part in tacking climate change and save money on fuel bills. The UK has the most ambitious emissions reduction commitments in the world and projects like this will develop the policies we need to be successful. With just over two months to go until the crucial climate talks at Copenhagen, the UK is well placed to show it is taking action in all areas to combat climate change.

The timetable for the Challenge is extreme, enough to make one feel dizzy, but it offers a great opportunity.  I’ll give some more thoughts on it later in the week once I’ve had a chance to peruse these documents, but I wanted to let you know as soon as I could, so you can have a look and see if it might be of interest to your (English, Welsh and Northern Irish) Transition groups.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


[…] buy with £500,000 ? 28 09 2009 The Government is today announcing the launch of “the Low Carbon Communities Challenge, a two-year programme to provide financial and advisory support to 20 ‘test-bed’ communities in […]

28 Sep 11:45am

Thanks for this Rob – its worth noting that for the first round applicants need to inform DECC of their intention to apply by 12 noon on Wednesday 28 OCTOBER 2009, 
by email to Harriet Festing at

If there are any Transition Initiatives that have very well established energy groups or energy enterprises-in-the-making then they will be the ‘readiest’ to go for this. If there are a number who would like to try for the funding then we might follow up with DECC whether consortium approach would be preferred.


07967 366990

justin kenrick
28 Sep 4:50pm

If you are interested in going for this then have a look at the £27 million Climate Challenge Fund the Scottish Government put in place (a Scottish Green Party initiative, adopted by the SNP and now backed by all political parties in Scotland. The problem can be too FEW applications not too many, so if you’re group is interested then go for it. It is crucial to have genuine long-term transition initiatives in there, not just techy ones.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GreenFeed and Rob Hopkins. Rob Hopkins said: Government unveils #LowCarbonCommunitiesChallenge today. Could be a great way boost to some Transition groups […]

[…] See the full press release below and an article on the Transition Culture website […]

30 Sep 1:16am

Thanks for this post Rob. Very timely as we are facing a state election early 2010. I will pass the information on to our Dept of Premier and Cabinet. Who knows we might see something as an election commitment(read promise!)

Wayne Hobart Tasmania Australia