What does a sustainable Christmas really mean?
Here at Content Coms, all year round we are deeply focused on sustainability, energy efficiency, and how the most innovative, brilliant science and technology can deliver a lower carbon UK.
But of course, sustainability isn’t just about these things.
It is also about human impacts. After all, among the most telling concerns regarding climate change surround how the lives of the very poorest around the world might be ruined by flooding and rising seas.
Equally, as the Christmas break approaches, as we think about the new technology that’s out there, and the exciting new changes coming in terms of the UK’s more flexible electricity grid, we must be sure we remember people too.
Why energy sustainability counts in human terms
Energy Live News estimates that more than 2 million families across the UK expect to struggle to pay their energy bills through the winter.
That’s the suggestion from price comparison service uSwitch, which surveyed 2,011 households regarding the risk of suffering from fuel poverty over Christmas.
More than a quarter of those surveyed are worried they will have to sacrifice feeding their family (26%) or buying Christmas presents (27%) if they decide to turn the heating on over the festive season.
Further, it appears that as many as 41% plan to ration their energy use and say they risk going cold this winter in a bid to make bills more affordable.
So as we race towards this new, low carbon and efficient UK, we must never forget what energy, at its most fundamental, is about.
It’s about human impacts; warmth, health and happiness. If you’re worrying about paying to heat the home or cook your food, Christmas may not be a very merry time at all.
Reenergising the drive towards low carbon
Ask any sector expert, and they will tell you that the path towards lower energy bills, which would help those in poverty, comes from energy efficiency.
Ask them about a lower carbon UK as a whole, and they will point you towards more modern, less fossil fuel intensive generation and far cleverer flexible solutions for how our energy works.
But these things aren’t just for high powered Government conferences, nor are electric cars (EVs), a key part of the UK’s future flexible grid, for the wealthy among us alone.
There’s a very fundamental human element to making low carbon for everyone. A key issue with EVs, for example, is that charging infrastructure for them is more easily placed in homes with garages.
This immediately means that the benefits of these vehicles might be limited to a tiny proportion of the UK’s people; those with garage space.
Our Christmas message
So the Content Coms Christmas message is this; as you think about a lower carbon 2018, and the incredible, exciting changes that are coming, remember, they must benefit all aspects of our society, and all of our businesses and citizens.
True sustainability reaches to the very heart of an issue, into the longer term, and in the same way our lower carbon futures must be sure to touch and benefit all of the UK’s people too.
We’re agreed that a lower carbon UK should ultimately mean lower energy bills, and fewer C02 emissions.
Along with those laudable goals, let’s make sure the lower carbon world we create touches each and every one of its people meaningfully too.
Then, Christmas in the future might be a time where none of us need worry over the price of warmth, light and power.
Content Coms is one of the UK’s leading B2B communications consultancies specialising in the energy, environment and technology sectors. If you’ve enjoyed our article, how about reading more of our news and analysis?