8 June 2009: Climate Answers projects

As well as the website, Climate Answers is involved in practical projects to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy and also improve the effectiveness of public buildings and their service delivery. A new ‘Projects’ category will be created soon and will be updated regularly as the projects progress. These will include activities at the following sites:

  • Gillespie Primary School in North London, which my children attend. It’s a large Victorian building, with enormous classrooms and windows, and inefficient old boilers. The classrooms are sometimes too cold for the children to learn in. The head teacher, governors, teachers and I are aiming to install double glazing, blocks the draught and raise money for new boilers.
  • Gillespie’s partner school in Niger, which has no electricity at all, but has the obvious potential to harness solar power.
  • Whittington Hospital, also in North London (where my kids were born). Hospitals are usually much too hot. This is uncomfortable and helps germs spread, so staff and patients open windows, which is equivalent to tipping cash out onto the street below.

I am also involved with an effort to spread the use of micro-renewables in India. 80% of Indians do not get electricity from the grid. This leads to great suffering: people have to walk miles and spend hours collecting wood and around a million Indians die each year from indoor air pollution. And yet India has immense solar and wind potential. In addition, small scale, run-of-river hydro (which means no dam needs to be built) could and should also be expanded. I will also keep you updated on this.


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