Letter from the Editor: local projects are leading lights

In the week of what is potentially the worst oil spill ever, we need some good news. Fortunately, edie can provide. We should all be thinking global and acting local – according to Agenda 21, and this week’s news is alive with stories of organisations doing just that. From computer recycling to taking on climate change, local projects are leading the way.

The City of Newcastle, which has a history of pioneering electricity and energy technology, is about to begin the long process of becoming carbon neutral – the first city to do so. Residents and businesses will be encouraged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and offset the remainder by paying for ‘clean’ technology, such as solar power.

Meanwhile, down south, South Bedfordshire Council is being proactive as it waits for the impending European directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment. On Saturday 30 November the council’s car park will play host to the nation’s first IT amnesty, where residents and businesses can bring their unwanted, outdated and broken computer equipment to be recycled.

In Europe, a renewable energy island in Denmark, a zero emission factory in Germany and a zero energy housing project in the UK have all been celebrating wins in the 2002 European Solar Awards.

Across the pond there is a similar tale to tell. US states appear to be putting their federal government to shame on climate change, as a new study has revealed that states such as Texas, Nebraska and Massachusetts are carrying out a range of activities that are directly or indirectly cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.

Fortunately, there is an exception to every rule. In Canada, the Government has just published its climate change plan – despite months of wrangling with disgruntled states and industry bodies that fear the cost of cutting emissions.

Kind regards

Helen André


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