This is a lively and colourful community-based guide to reducing local dependence on fossil fuels and reducing the local carbon footprint over the next 20 years, a period during which they anticipate changes associated with declining oil supplies and the impacts of climate change to become more apparent. The Energy Descent Action Plan has been developed by and for the community of Totnes and District, a busy market town and its fifteen encircling parishes, by engaging the community in a creative process of preparing for resilience based on localization with understanding, skills and inner preparation for the anticipated changes and some of the biggest challenges civilisation has ever faced. At the heart of the EDAP are 15 sections covering key sustainability topics from food production to governance; within each are scenarios of business as usual versus willingness to change proposed with a vision of 2030. It offers a new story of the future, based on a scenario of positive visions and proposes practical pathways of ideas, activities and policy changes across a series of themed timelines to 2030.
There's a great awakening going on today, driven by accelerating climate change and by the era of cheap oil coming to an end. Very few communities are as yet properly prepared for such changes, but this Action Plan for Totnes demonstrates exactly what can now be done and how all of us can get involved. -
'By planning for a world in which fossil fuels are no longer cheap and abundant, Totnes has set an example that every town and city in the world should follow. The post-carbon transition can be a creative opportunity for societal renewal, but only if we plan for it. And given the realities of climate change and oil depletion, we are all starting very late in the game. Kudos to this brave community for stepping up to the challenge and producing a thorough, far-sighted document!' -
'The Energy Descent Action plan is a solid piece of work that tells you how to assess what resources a community has - we're talking skills, ecology, potential for food production, social and creative resources - and clearly sets out ways to utilise them properly. It should give millions of us direction - a critically the confidence - to believe that a sustainable life is within our grasp' -
Jacqi Hodgson coordinates the Energy Descent Pathways project for Transition Town Totnes that has overseen the production of this EDAP. She is also a local Town Councillor and is very involved in local community activities and projects with a particular interest in planning and land-use. Rob Hopkins is co-founder of the growing Transition Network and author of the best-selling The Transition Handbook. In June 2009 he won the Observer Ethical Award for Grassroots Campaigner.
Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years' experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first two-year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as coordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission.
He is author of The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience and The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times, and co-author of Local Food: how to make it happen in your community (all published by Green Books / Transition Books); also Transition in Action: Totnes and District 2030: an Energy Descent Plan (co-author), Woodlands for West Cork! and Energy Descent Pathways.
The Transition Handbook has been published in seven other languages to date, and was voted the fifth most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008. Rob publishes www.transitionculture.org, which has been voted ‘the fourth best green blog in the UK’. He is the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served as a Soil Association Trustee for three years, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award in the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust / Guardian’s ‘Green Community Hero’. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, and has recently completed a PhD on Transition and Resilience at Plymouth University.
Central to The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion is the concept of ‘resilience’, which refers to the ability of a community to withstand external shocks and stresses. Rob argues that just cutting carbon emissions is insufficient: we need to rebuild the ability of our communities to provide for their core needs, and doing so will create huge opportunities for local economic regeneration. His books are about hope and optimism, and their untapped potential for engaging people in repairing their communities, their towns and cities, and, ultimately, their planet. The Transition Companion expands on the ideas in the Handbook, combining practical advice on starting and maintaining a Transition initiative with inspiring stories about groups across the world who are putting these ideas into practice.
Rob regularly features as a keynote speaker, and has participated at the following events: Community Land Trust Conference; WWF (talk to the various teams); Sustainable Consumption and Production Conference; Dorset Schools Eco-Summit; Eco-Build Summit; Prince’s Foundation Annual Conference at St James’s Palace; Skype presentation to the Nova Scotia Planning Directors Association (NSPDA) Conference; Skype presentation for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) conference.
He lives in Devon with his wife and four children. He has particular passions for cob building and walnut trees, and is staggered by the rate at which the Transition concept has spread.