The Brixton Low Carbon Zone was launched last Sunday with a low key event in the community centre at 105 Angell Rd to inform residents about the new initiative.
Lambeth Council, along with nine other London boroughs, has been awarded £330,000 to help Brixton reduce its carbon emissions by 20.12% by 2012 (geddit?) ‘Brixton’ Low Carbon Zone sadly does not apply to the whole of Brixton, but it does contain 721 buildings and includes probably the most carbon intensive parts, running from Rushcroft Rd to Max Roach Park and the Loughborough estates. The word ‘zone’ implies that something fundamental changes when you enter it, but in fact the focus is on encouraging people to take action themselves, especially by working together, rather than on implementing top-down change. That’s a good and a bad thing – it is great to encourage community action, but one wonders how far-reaching and persuasive the ‘zone’ can really be in the area.
There are certainly some good ideas. The ‘Green Doctors’ will visit free of charge to give people advice on energy efficiency. Your house can be draught-proofed for free (very envious of this one) or you can measure your power use with ‘smart meters’. Green groups as well as individuals will also receive support to set up new projects.
Even if you don’t live in the zone, new work is being done to involve you too. Kees Frederiks, responsible for the Brixton LCZ, points out that his colleagues also work on Lambeth-wide initiatives. You can become a Green Community Champion and Lambeth Council are working on a carbon trading program called PACT, which will allow individuals to earn monetary credits for their local green group by saving carbon at home.
Like the launch party, though, it is all pretty low key. Remembering to turn off the lights and keep the heating down is useful, but really we need bigger and more decisive action from government and business. Boris?