David Cameron recently argued that the state is “often too inhuman and clumsy” to tackle the UK’s social problems. Instead of big government, the coalition is developing policies within an agenda of “big society” - emphasising devolving powers locally to communities, encouraging greater community engagement and support for social enterprises & civil society organisations. Before cynically dismissing big society as and excuse for big cuts in services, it might be useful to consider one or two examples of opportunities that the big society agenda offers on the theme of climate change.
Michael Kelly, Doug Crawford-Brown and a number of students and local organisations in Cambridge have proposed a local solution to home insulation called the Cambridge Retrofit project. The project encourages Cambridge to take the initiative in addressing energy saving through a programme of retrofitting existing buildings to bring them into line with the insulation standards used in newly built housing.