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We aim to raise public awareness among the residents of Woodstock and beyond on the issues of climate change, energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, bio-diversity, sustainable economics and respect for the planet. 
We are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, local schools and churches, Blenheim Palace and the Farmers Market and the Woodstock trade association, Wake Up to Woodstock

Climate Change

What will BREXIT mean for Climate Change and Sustainability?

The UK government won praise six months ago for taking a leading role in the Paris climate change conference which, for the first time, reached a legally binding agreement on cutting carbon emissions.  With the Bexit vote the UK’s future participation is called into question.  But more seriously the Leave campaign’s victory provides succour to those groups who oppose climate change action.  It could conceivably delay the ratification of the Paris agreement beyond the date of the US election and, God forbid that Trump should win that particular race, a change of President in the US could scupper the agreement altogether.  Jonathan Grant, director of sustainability at PwC said, “[the referendum outcome] is a major setback for the type pf collaboration needed to tackle global environmental issues such as climate change.  The UK government has been a champion of climate action at home, within the EU, and in Paris.  This leadership is now at risk, with many supporters of Brexit also opposed to climate policies such as carbon taxes and efficiency standards.”


The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual progress report said that emissions from electricity generation were falling fast but pollution from transport was rising and action on cutting carbon emissions from homes has gone backwards.  National carbon emissions have fallen by over 4.5% per year since 2012 but almost entirely due to increasing use of renewable sources of energy generation.  There has been virtually no reductions in the rest of the economy and the rate of installing insulation in homes has reduced by 90% and the government has scrapped plans to make all new homes zero carbon.  The UK has no policies in place to meet more than half of the carbon emissions cuts required by law by 2030.  The danger following Brexit is that without EU pressure the government will be even less inclined to adopt low carbon policies.  The government’s abandonment of research and development into Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS) will seriously jeopardise the UK reaching its 2050 carbon targets (see the positive news from Iceland on CCS here)


GreenpeaceUK Executive Director John Sauven added, “Many of the laws that make our drinking and bathing water safe, our air cleaner, our fishing industry more sustainable and our climate safer now hang by a thread …… There is a very real fear that Cameron’s successor will come from the school that supports a bonfire of anti-pollution protections.”  Friends of the Earth said the group could “no longer rely on the EU to protect our nature and habitats,” adding that clean beaches, air quality and protection of bees from pesticides were among issues put at risk by potential loss of EU legislation.

Greenpeace analysys also believe that rules governing restrictions on the amount of fracking could also be lifted.


So far as food is concerned it is likely that with a weaker pound food prices will rise.  30% of our food is imported from the EU and the UK’s food production is heavily dependent on migrant labour.  Some 38% of food manufacturing (the UK’s biggest manufacturing industry,; bigger than cars or aerospace) is foreign born labour and there won’t be much fresh fruit and veg without foreign pickers.

Politics, Power, and Economics cannot be excluded from the Climate Change Debate

Telesur reporter, Elliot Gabriel, spoke to Monthly Review editor John Bellamy Foster about climate change & the need to fight for an ecosocialist, revolutionary alternative to the profit-driven world capitalist system.  Read more of this lightly edited version of an interview entitled “Capitalism, Exterminism and the Long Ecological Revolution”  

Telesur is a Latin American multimedia platform oriented to lead and promote the unification of the peoples of the south.  It is a space and a voice for the construction of a new communications order https://www.telesurtv.net/english/index.html .

CO2 turned into stone in Iceland in climate change breakthrough - Guardian Report - 9th June 2016

Radical new technique promises a cheaper and more secure method of burying CO2 emissions underground instead of storing it as a gas

Site close to the Hellisheidi geothermal powerplant, where CO2 was injected into volcanic rock. In two years it was almost completely mineralised. Photograph: Juerg Matter/Science

Damian Carrington

Thursday 9 June 201619.00 BST Last modified on Thursday 9 June 2016 22.00 BST

Carbon dioxide has been pumped underground and turned rapidly into stone, demonstrating a radical new way to tackle climate change.

The unique project promises a cheaper and more secure way of burying CO2 from fossil fuel burning underground, where it cannot warm the planet. Such carbon capture and storage (CCS) is thought to be essential to halting global warming, but existing projects store the CO2 as a gas and concerns about costs and potential leakage have halted some plans.

The new research pumped CO2 into the volcanic rock under Iceland and sped up a natural process where the basalts react with the gas to form carbonate minerals, which make up limestone. The researchers were amazed by how fast all the gas turned into a solid – just two years, compared to the hundreds or thousands of years that had been predicted.

“We need to deal with rising carbon emissions and this is the ultimate permanent storage – turn them back to stone,” said Juerg Matter, at the University of Southampton in the UK, who led the research published on Thursday in the journal Science.

Matter said the only thing holding back CCS was the lack of action from politicians, such as putting a price on carbon emissions: “The engineering and technology of CCS is ready to be deployed. So why do we not see hundreds of these projects? There is no incentive to do it.”

The Iceland project has already been increased in scale to bury 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and the basalt rocks used are common around the world, forming the floor of all the oceans and parts of the land too. “In the future, we could think of using this for power plants in places where there’s a lot of basalt and there are many such places,” said Martin Stute, at Columbia University in the US and part of the research team.

Testing has taken place in the Columbia River Basalts, extensive deposits in Washington and Oregon in the US. India, which has many polluting coal power plants, has huge basalt deposits in the Deccan Traps.

One potential challenge for the new technique is that it requires large amounts of water: 25 tonnes for each tonne of CO2 buried. But Matter said seawater could be used, which would be in plentiful supply at coastal sites. Another is that subterranean microbes might break down carbonate to methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, but this was not seen in the Iceland research.

The research, called the Carbfix project, took place at Iceland’s Hellisheidi power plant, the world’s largest geothermal facility. The plant pumps up volcanically heated water to run electricity-generating turbines but this also brings up volcanic gases, including carbon dioxide and nasty-smelling hydrogen sulphide.

The researchers re-injected 230 tonnes of the gas, which was dissolved in water to prevent it escaping, down into the basalt to a depth of 400-500m. They used tracer chemicals to show that over 95% of CO2 was turned into stone within two years, “amazingly fast” according to Matter. Edda Aradottir, who heads the project for Reykjavik Energy, said: “It was a very welcome surprise.”

Members of the CarbFix science team handling rock core recovered during drilling at the CO2 injection site. Photograph: Juerg Matter/Science

The Iceland project has now begun scaling up to bury 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, plus the hydrogen sulphide which also turns into minerals. The Columbia University group are also investigating another rock type, found in Oman, which may be able to turn CO2 into rock even better than basalt.

In conventional CCS, the CO2 is stored as a gas in sedimentary rocks such as exhausted oil fields under the North Sea. Unlike basalt, these rocks lack the minerals needed to convert CO2 into stone. Such sedimentary reservoirs could potentially leak and therefore have to be monitored, which adds to costs.

They have also raised concerns from the public and projects on land in the Netherlands and Germany have been halted as a result. “In Europe you can forget about onshore CCS,” said Matter.

Conventional CCS also requires the CO2 to be separated from the mix of gases emitted by power stations and industrial plants, which is expensive. But the basalt-based CCS does not require this. However, Matter said there would still be a role for conventional CCS in places where power plants are close to good reservoirs.

Stuart Haszeldine, professor of CCS at the UK’s University of Edinburgh and not involved in the new research said it was promising: “This is terrific. It may well provide a low-cost and very secure remedy for parts of the world where the suitable rocks exist. [But] this needs to be used as well as all the existing propositions, because the problem to be solved of thousands of million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in the world is immense and no single remedy is anywhere near big enough or fast enough.”

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that CCS is hugely important to tackling climate change in the most cost-effective way. Without CCS, the costs of halting global warming would double, the IPCC said, an assessment with which the UK government’s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, agrees.

However, the UK government cancelled a pioneering £1bn CCS competition in November. Globally, CCS has not developed as quickly as hoped, although some companies are using CO2 injection to drive more oil and gas from older fields. Haszeldine said there have been over 100 injections of CO2 gas in different countries worldwide since 1972, none of which are known to have leaked.

Other innovative approaches to CCS are being explored, including an ExxonMobil-backed project using fuel cells to make capturing CO2 cheaper and one from Ford which uses CO2 to make foam for use in their vehicles. Groups are also working on chemical advances to capture CO2 more easily.

Pictures of Sustainable Woodstock and friends at "The Wave" Climate Demo, London, 5th December 2009