News release: Local scientists publish Winchester in 2015 report
Members of WinACC's Science and Technology Advisory Panel have published their predictions of what some aspects of life in Winchester could be like in the year 2015, expressed as they might be seen by someone living in that year. Click here to view the Winchester in 2015 report.
Among the changes that they foresee are that sales of bottled water will have ‘almost dried up’ by 2015; there will have been a great uptake in home insulation – with virtually all houses with cavity walls properly insulated; an increase in youngsters cycling to school; and the demise of 4x4 and Sport Utility Vehicles on Winchester’s streets.
The members of the Science and Technology Advisory Panel have spent several months developing their scenario for 2015. One purpose in choosing that particular year was to select a point which is far enough ahead for significant change to have taken place, but is within range for action, taken now or already foreseeable, to be starting to have effect. It is also hoped that by 2015 WinACC – working with the City Council – will have achieved its target of an average one-third reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by Winchester organisations and households.
2015 is also close to the date by which it is now thought a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions must be underway to prevent runaway climate change. STAP members readily acknowledge that action taken in Winchester alone cannot save mankind from the dangers of runaway climate change except as part of national and worldwide actions promoting the trend to a low-carbon society. Dr George Sudbury, who has edited the Winchester in 2015 report, pointed out: ‘We have taken the events of 2007-08, including an economic slowdown, into consideration. In sketching this scenario, we hope that we are stimulating further thought about the everyday paths to be followed towards a world where human activity will no longer be destabilising the global climate’.
‘We have drawn our inspiration primarily from our own knowledge and understanding and that of our direct contacts. It is our intention, within the next year, to consult more widely; especially, we want to draw on ideas about the paths to be taken in education, health and agriculture to meet the challenges ahead. The changes we envisage are to be seen as part of national and worldwide actions promoting the trend to a low-carbon society. A one-third reduction by 2015 is seen only as an interim target as there is general agreement that much more drastic cuts will continue to be required to prevent the serious consequences of runaway climate change.’
Robert Hutchison, then Chairman of WinACC, said: ‘’WinACC is extremely fortunate to be advised by such a distinguished group of scientists. The Winchester in 2015 report, which is available on the WinACC website, is designed to stir up more thought and discussion about the paths to a low carbon economy. There is now a widespread recognition that the sooner we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to fix the problems of human-caused climate change. WinACC will welcome constructive comments on the Winchester in 2015 scenario’.
Note for Editors:
1. The principal aim of Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) is to encourage, persuade and advise all households and public, private and voluntary organisations in Winchester district to reduce their carbon footprints. In pursuing this aim Winchester Action on Climate Change will:
- Promote the many benefits of low carbon living;
- Work with and through existing networks and partnerships to set the highest possible standards in communicating about climate change; in particular it will work with the City and County Councils to help achieve their climate change objectives;
- Act as a focal point for information about climate change and advice on measuring, monitoring and reducing carbon footprints;
- Initiate and support action groups trying to achieve these aims
- Make the achievement of all the aims as satisfying and enjoyable as possible.
2. The members of the Science and Technology Advisory Panel (STAP) of WinACC who worked on Winchester in 2015 are Dr David Knight, Dr Frank Barnaby, Jess Lloyd, Dr George Sudbury, Professor Bob Whitmarsh and Dr Nick Woodman.