Kingston and Wandsworth Area Meeting track carbon emissions

Friends are tracking their carbon dioxide emissions in response to a concern about climate change

Friends from Kingston and Wandsworth Area Meeting have committed to recording their annual carbon dioxide emissions data in response to a concern about climate change.

The action follows a long path of discernment and consideration, prompted by the Canterbury Commitment in 2011.

One of the Meeting’s members, Paul Ekins, professor of climate economics at University College London, gave a lecture and presentation to the Area Meeting (AM) as part of its action.

Martin Birley, who was nominated to collect and record the data for the AM and to transmit it anonymously to Local Meetings and AM, told the Friend that, according to the data collected so far: ‘We’re running an average of ten tonnes per person per year. In order to avoid social collapse, we should, as a global community, have to reduce it to two tonnes – and that’s being optimistic. A lot of people think that if we don’t hit zero, we’ve had it.’

Martin Birley added: ‘Even though the future is perilous, we have to move positively in the right direction.’ Steps he recommended included cutting out ‘any cow product – certainly starting with meat, but, after that, dairy and giving up meat of any kind’.

He also said it was important to look at domestic energy use. ‘I have a thermometer in every room and keep a temperature of eighteen degrees, but most people like around twenty-one degrees. It makes an enormous difference even dropping to twenty degrees.’

Friends from the Area Meeting received assistance in estimating and recording annual carbon dioxide emissions using a carbon calculator.

According to a draft Area Meeting report: ‘By 26 November Kingston Local Meeting had acquired seventeen estimates of annual emissions and three households had declined to participate. The total number of households who could participate is estimated to be forty.’

By 13 December, twenty members of Kingston Meeting had responded.

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