Mapping a Zero Carbon Future for Britain

‘Every country and region needs a Centre for Alternative Technology, to educate about and show what is possible in multiple areas of technology, energy, buildings and land management.’

Community Facilitator: Paul Allen, External Relations Director and past-Chief Executive

Project: Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB), The Centre for Alternative Technology

Location: Machynlleth, Powys, Wales

Funding: Charity, education activities and visitor centre

Project website:

Goals: To inspire, inform and enable humanity to respond to the climate and biodiversity emergency

Process: The Centre for Alternative Technology is a 3 hectare site of interactive displays, visitor facilities and educational buildings within a larger 16 hectare site. Since its inception in 2007, the ZCB project has set out to offer the hard data and confidence required for visualising a future where we have risen to the demands of climate science; to clearly demonstrate that we can reach net zero emissions using only existing technology, and that such a transition offers many positive co-benefits for society. Today zero carbon is becoming a much more commonly accepted goal. CAT’s work has played an important part in raising the profile of ‘zero’ and in increasing confidence that it is deliverable.

Insights: ZCB emerged from the yawning gap between business as usual policy and what the science is telling us. We use this work to begin to open up new conversations, to trigger new research. We don’t say this is the only way to do it, but it’s a conversation starter.

In terms of the impacts of this work, what has really kicked off is the amount of training we are doing for councils and business groups around the country. We work with the four directions model:

  • Downwards – focusing on things you have direct control of – for example, re-localising food supply chains to hospitals;
  • Sideways – building alliances with other councils e.g. mass retrofit of social housing
  • Upwards – lobbying for more resources you need
  • Inwards – getting individual training.

It is important that we make all this work free to access through our website. CAT also has a free information service, to provide independent free advice.

This is a case study from the Community Climate Coaches (CCC) Erasmus+ project, where we highlight the work of one Coach. Find out more about this type of coaching, how to become one and resources for this journey here.

CCC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Proj. ref.: 2020-1-IE01-KA204-066023

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