Welcome to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)'s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP)'s blog. The DECC YAP is a group of young people aged between 15 and 25 from all over the UK, with a wide-range of backgrounds, from academia to activism.

Our aim is to inform everyone and anyone about DECC's activities and likewise to help DECC understand and take into account the concerns of young people. We are a medium of consultancy and conversation. Much of our work looks at finding a 'Pathway to 2050', reviewing how energy with be supplied and used in the next four decades, so follow us and join us on the journey!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Visit to BedZED

Hi All
My name is Unkha and I am on the Oxfam Youth Board. Along with several others from the Panel (Rose, John and Kirsty) visited the eco-community in Sutton called BedZED, on 25 August 2010

Our visit to BedZED began with an introductory session with the Sustainability Consultant (Sam Smith) where he explained several key things about the community including the fact that it was built to create a community in which ordinary people could enjoy a high quality of life, while living within their fair share of the Earth’s resources. He went on to explain the project's One Planet Living’ principle which is the idea that if all the world lived like the average western European does we’d need three planets to support us. The project tries to tackle this issue by greatly reducing the consumption levels and energy use within the community for example an 81% reduction in energy use for heating by using ecologically friendly alternatives such as natural sunlight (by having the homes facing south and having a sun space), insulation (the walls of the homes are nearly 30cm thick) and thermal mass. There’s a 64% reduction in car mileage through the introduction of a comprehensive transport plan (good public transport links, a car sharing scheme, encouraging the use of electric cars with free charging and ample provisions for cyclists and pedestrians). The project also recycles 60% of its waste!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Coming up: Visit to CAT

- Tom Williams

The remit of the Youth Panel is to look at the challenges facing the country in meeting the 80% carbon reduction target by 2050, to encourage engagement in the 2050 Pathways project within the members’ organisations, to review the possible pathways, and to make recommendations to the department.

However to ensure the panel’s recommendations and discussions are as informed as possible, several visits have been organised to allow members access to various energy production sites around the country, to see the reality of the types of infrastructure that would have to be provided by the public or private sectors.

One of the very first of these is a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in North Wales, a place that attempts to offer solutions to some of the most serious challenges facing the planet and the human race, including climate change, pollution and the waste of precious resources.

We will be visiting CAT with our task in mind; to compile a group recommendation to the government detailing our preferred carbon reduction pathway to 2050. We will assess the options and explore new technologies that might be employed in this mammoth task, and we will have the chance to put in-depth questions to the experts in these technologies.

I will write another blogpost after the visit with news of what happens on the day and the information we acquire that we can pass on to the rest of the Youth Panel!