Transition in Action
09 Jun 2010
Three years and eight months after unleashing the Transition Town project, Totnes in Devon has produced the UK’s first comprehensive Energy Descent Action Plan.
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The UK’s first community energy descent action plan is unveiled in Totnes
Three years and eight months after unleashing the Transition Town project, Totnes in Devon has produced the UK’s first comprehensive Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) designed for and by a local community.
Entitled Transition in Action, the plan views the changes necessitated by climate change, peak oil and the UK’s debt, not as a crisis, but as a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship, creativity, community and a greater quality of life. It was put together after inviting Totnes residents to dream how the future could be and by working out all the practical pathways to get there.
Following a procession through the streets and an announcement by Totnes Town Crier, Transition in Action was officially launched in the local Civic Hall on 7th May.
The document is intended to offer ideas and inspiration for individuals, the community and local service providers in the area of Totnes and District, in their efforts to plan responses to volatile energy prices, climate change and a deeply uncertain economic future.
After laying out the assumptions that underpin the report, the main section covers varying aspects of Transition, such as food and energy, and also includes two vital pieces of research: the ‘Energy Budget for Totnes’ and ‘Can Totnes and District Feed Itself?’
Paul Wesley, who runs the town’s largest secondhand bookshop, and is also Chair of the Totnes Chamber of Commerce, said: “The EDAP is the single most important book about Totnes that has ever been published, and the Chamber of Commerce will play its part in bringing its vision into being.”
Before cutting a cake to formally launch the plan, Totnes Mayor, Councillor Jean Harrop, explained: “It’s good that children from local schools have been involved in creating this book. The future is theirs and they will need to understand how to manage with less, as the oil runs down and we take measures to avoid the climate overheating. If we all pull together in this, young and old alike, we have a good chance to have a better future.”
The report was produced by Jacqi Hodgson over the course of the last year, with support from Rob Hopkins, co-founder of Transition Town Totnes (TTT). Rob said that it offers a story of how to put ideas into action and insisted TTT is committed to ensuring the plan does not gather dust on a shelf. “It tells a story that starts in the 1950s, the last time this community had less food, less energy, and was more localised,” he said. “The stories that we have drawn together from oral history interviews, speak of a much more resilient world, from which we could learn a great deal.”
Rob suggested that the future may or may not turn out as Transition in Action describes it, but invited all the local community to make the path towards it part of their story. He expects other communities will soon be charting their own roads to energy descent. Referring to the growth of the Transition movement he said: “As Transition Town Totnes has shown, what we start here can spread elsewhere incredibly rapidly and virally.”
Contact: Transition Town Totnes
43 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5HN
Tel: +44 (0)1803 867358
Rob Hopkins, co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network, with Councillor Jacqi Hodgson
at the launch of Transition in Action
Photo: copyright Rob Hopkins
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