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Carbon heroes get online support
- Innovative ‘community’ carbon calculator and social networking facility

A website launched today (www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk) to help communities in the East of England cut their emissions. It includes an innovative community carbon footprint calculator based on Defra’s Act on CO2 calculator. The site also includes social networking functionality to enable groups to form and communicate online. The site is an integral part of the East of England Development Agency’s (EEDA) Cut your Carbon campaign and £2.5 million funding competition aimed at helping communities in the region significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

The website will act as a gateway for the competition, which enables communities to win between £5,000 and £200,000 of match funding for projects that will help them lead greener lives. There are also inspiring case studies and resources to help communities who want to enter, but do not have their big carbon-cutting idea yet.

Richard Ellis, chair, EEDA said: “We believe the internet offers many benefits in terms of bringing people together online around the issue of climate change and providing them with the tools and information they need to take action. In particular, Defra’s Act on CO2 calculator is the first allow users update their profile over time and monitor improvements. We fully expect the campaign website to be a powerful tool for helping people cut carbon.”

The community CO2 Calculator will provide the first step in helping communities understand how much carbon dioxide they produce and what they can do to reduce it. Individuals from the community will each calculate the emissions from their heating system; appliances and electronic devices; and personal transport (including flights). The calculator then uses data from the Energy Saving Trust to suggest simple things people can do to make a difference.

One of the key innovations is that it then allows the online community to include the energy usage of local businesses and community buildings, such as village halls, to bring together all the information in a collective carbon footprint.

Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said: “There is no doubt that climate change is happening and carbon emissions are a direct cause. Our Act on CO2 calculator has already helped more than 800,000 people calculate their carbon footprint and given them personalised tips on what they can do to reduce it. I am delighted that EEDA has decided to use the Government’s calculator as a basis for their community-level project.”

The social networking element of the site enables individuals to each set up their own profile and link into a group. From this, communities can communicate easily and securely online, arrange and promote events, attract new people to the group, discuss plans in community forums and tell the world about their setbacks and successes.

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Notes to Editors

Interviews with Richard Ellis can be arranged through EEDA press office.

Images are available including the Cut your Carbon word mark and heroes photography from www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk – see the ‘Press’ option within the ‘News’ tab. Further photos from launch activity will be available on Facebook – see our Cut your Carbon profile and video.

About the East of England Development Agency
The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is the driving force behind sustainable economic regeneration in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. EEDA’s vision is for the East of England to be an ideas driven region that is internationally competitive, harnesses the talent of all and is at the forefront of the low carbon economy. For further information visit www.eeda.org.uk

About Cut your Carbon
Cut your Carbon is a three-year campaign (2008-2011) led by EEDA that aims to bring together communities in the East of England to tackle climate change. Groups taking part will be able to measure their carbon footprint and seek to win EEDA match funding of up to £200,000 from a £2.5 million pot for projects that apply fresh thinking to cutting carbon emissions. The campaign is underpinned online by an innovative website including a community carbon calculator and social networking capability and has a network of community support offices delivering in-person help and advice. It is also supported by Anglian Water, DEFRA, E.ON and Suffolk County Council. For more information: www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk

About Act on CO2
Defra’s Act on CO2 calculator, and therefore, the Cut your Carbon community calculator uses the “Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine” (AMEE) platform to operate and make its calculations. AMEE is a neutral, open platform that aims to enable any climate campaign to use a common standard for Carbon-Footprint Profiling and Measurement. It aggregates “official” CO2 data from over 130 countries, although the Act on CO2 calculator uses a “frozen” version of the system to ensure it only uses, and is limited to official Government data. For more information please visit: www.amee.cc

Press enquiries to:
Rebecca English, Cut your Carbon media relations officer
Tel: 01223 202839
M: 07923 537238
Email: rebeccaenglish@eeda.org.uk


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of East of England Development Agency (EEDA) in the following categories: Leisure & Hobbies, Environment & Nature, Consumer Technology, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.