The community of the Devon town Totnes has raised almost £30,000 in two weeks to fund a new climate change response centre to provide information, meeting points and a base for action groups to work from.
The centre will be set up in the middle of Totnes town, to inspire, educate and enable the community to respond effectively and creatively to climate and ecological breakdown at a local level.
It will also house the many climate action and regenerative, eco projects groups already operating in Totnes, which is a pioneering town in the Transition movement. The centre is inspired by the Climate Emergency Centre network, which is encouraging the setup of more such centres around the country, and the project is being supported by Transition Town Totnes.
“We will enable individuals, families, groups, businesses, organisations and councils to make more sustainable choices, reduce their carbon footprints, protect and reconnect to nature, & to live in more regenerative & caring ways,” a statement on the group’s crowdfunding page read.
It comes as a new report by educational charity Demos found over 90 per cent of the public support bold climate action such as a carbon tax on polluting businesses, better integrated public transport, more sustainable food and farming, and comprehensive charging points for electric cars and increased flying costs.
Using a survey of 22,000 representative adults in the UK, the report was carried out using a new Climate Calculator, which builds on the work of last year’s citizens Climate Assembly to promote and further citizen engagement in climate issues.
Users of the calculator can select their preferred options for reducing emissions by 2030 across a range of areas, and can see the impacts of their decisions not just on emissions, but also on household budgets, jobs and health.
A carbon tax, better public transport and a campaign among food retailers to help people eat less but better meat and dairy, reducing consumption by 10 per cent, were the top-rated policies by the public, all with above 90 per cent in preference.
Other favoured policies included limiting cars in cities (82 per cent), and more sustainable farming, more forests and better wildlife habitats (79 per cent). Under this policy, respondents wanted to see land used for tree planting and to restore areas of peatland, as well as supporting less intensive, more sustainable and organic farming.
The overall preference on the distribution of a carbon tax favoured flat payments to all households, rather than the option to reduce taxes.
“At a decisive point for climate action, this major new report presents a viable path to meeting the UK’s 2030 target, with the UK public united in support of a climate policy package that could barely impact on weekly costs for the lowest income households,” a statement said.