Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Ian Draisey on transitioning to a low-carbon world - in 60 seconds!

Dulas - 2008 Ashden Award winner_cropped
We have asked some of our past award-winners to share their views on what we need to address to transition to a low-carbon world – and we’ve given them just 60 seconds to do it in! This week, Ian Draisey, Director of Dulas Ltd gave us some insight on three challenging topics.

Do you think getting cash back from the government for generating your own energy through feed-in tariffs is going to revolutionise the domestic energy landscape?

Yes - it has brought this part of the energy equation down to a grass roots level for many. There has been a limited choice between energy suppliers - whose principle interest is 'churn' of customers. The feed-in tariffs have given both the incentive for the public to be proactive in reducing their energy bills, and it offers a new way for the utility sector providers to compete for new business.

Most people in the UK have heard of climate change and the need to act, but are in fact doing very little. What do you think is the biggest thing hindering a change in our behaviour?

I think for the majority it’s still a lack of understanding the issue – there’s a prevailing sense of doubt about the collective impact of small sacrifices and behaviour changes that many people are starting to make. The biggest hinderance is simply the ranking climate change receives in most people’s lives - compared to competing issues like supermarket prices and the housing market. People still see climate change as a statistic or as a problem suffered by far flung countries. Few people in the UK have experienced the impacts of climate change directly, unless it rains all through the school holidays that is! I still believe in the short term, financial incentives are the only real method of promoting effective change.

The new government says it will be the ‘greenest government in history’ - quite a bar to set! What would have David Cameron have to put first on his agenda to give you faith in the future of a sustainable energy in the UK?

We need a step change in policy to encourage community based initiatives, which elevate energy projects at local authority level to sit alongside regeneration initiatives.

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