UK charities and landowners come together to set up new carbon cutting network

Some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners are acting together to fight the impact of climate change and rising energy costs in a new carbon-cutting network, created by the National Trust and the sustainable energy charity, Ashden.

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The Government has set targets to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The Fit for the Future Network, which was formally launched on November 5 at Centre Point, London, will allow leading sustainability experts and energy champions across charities and land-owning organisations to learn from each other and share best practice about how to reduce their carbon footprint. Members will work together to minimise their use of carbon and improve their resilience against rising energy costs.

Speaking at the event, the National Trust’s Director General Dame Helen Ghosh said:

“Our coastlines are crumbling and we are battling new pests, diseases, droughts and floods as a result of climate change. It’s a serious issue for us all.

“As a conservation charity, it’s also unacceptable that our energy costs could increase by millions of pounds over the next decade.

“To tackle these issues, we’ve set ourselves ambitious targets to use 20 per cent less energy, halve our fossil fuel use and generate 50 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. But, like others, we need support to achieve these targets.

“Many people talk about the power of one but I’m a great believer in the power of many, which is why I’m delighted to be working with our partner Good Energy and other organisations in this new network.”

Some of the UK’s top charities and landowners attended the event, including the National Trust, Landmark Trust, Crown Estate, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The National Trust alone looks after around 255,000 hectares of UK land, more than 300 historic buildings and 742 miles of coastline.

Also speaking at the launch were two other leaders in the clean energy sector: Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden and Juliet Davenport OBE, founder and CEO of Good Energy, which sponsored the event.

Individuals and organisations have been invited to make pledges to work together to reduce their carbon footprint.

Howard Richings, Head of Estates Management at RNLI, has pledged to “share practical solutions” from renewable energy projects, such as solar PV and water source heat pumps that are expected to save the charity £100,000 in the next year.

Mr Richings said: “The RNLI sees great value in belonging to the network and learning from the lessons of others – the more people who join the better.”

Make a pledge to become fit for the future, by tweeting @nationaltrust using #fit4future.

To find out more about the Fit for the Future Network and how to join visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/energy  

View pledges made so far at http://www.pinterest.com/Fit4Future/fit4future-network-pledges/

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