15 x 20 Challenge

Initial Steps

  1. Register with Cambridgeshire Climate Emergency.
  2. We’ll arrange a phone chat and talk you through the process.


Your goal is to reduce total CO2 emissions for your area by 15%* by end of 2020.

* Based on June 2019 CO2 emissions data, ie. the percentage converts to an absolute figure, as opposed to 15% of an ever-increasing amount

  1. Bring 10 people together in your area for your first meeting. This could be in a coffee shop, church hall, or community centre – wherever people feel comfortable meeting. Encourage each of those 10 people to bring 10 more people to subsequent meetings.
  2. Build social media presence for your group. This could be a Facebook page, a website, or a Twitter feed.
  3. Determine your current CO2 emissions for your area
    – Look up your emissions using our “Carbon Emissions Datasheet” (note these figures are estimates based on 2017 data).
    – If you have a large team of people, you can conduct an annual “Carbon Audit” to get a more accurate figure of CO2 emissions – contact us for more information.
  4. Explore the possible options for reducing CO2 for your area:
    – Consider local renewable energy schemes, eg. solar farms, car-sharing, retrofitting.
    – If necessary, reach out to experts who can advise. A good source of experts in Cambridge is Transition Cambridge.
    – Read David Mackay’s “Sustainable Energy – without the hot air”
    – Check out the Cambridgeshire Climate Emergency Map to see what existing renewable projects exist in Cambridgeshire that you can find out more about.
    – If the challenge seems daunting, break it up into bite-sized chunks, eg. week one: research solar farms, week two: research car-sharing schemes, etc.
  5. Once you have drawn up a list of options for reducing CO2 in your area, carefully evaluate them in terms of (i) money (ii) time (iii) likely rate of adoption (iv) amount of CO2 reduced. Note that some options with higher CO2 reductions may be hard for people to adopt. Try and find a trade-off that encourages more people to get involved and that are “low-hanging fruit” – once you have made progress with the low-hanging fruit, you will encourage more people to get involved which will make it easier to tackle the more challenging projects. If you’d like to share your options with others, please email us your documents and we will share them on our website.
  6. Reach out to your community and present the options in a public meeting. Listen to what people say – is there more enthusiasm for some options over others?
  7. If you’re struggling to find support for any options, don’t despair! Take some time to reflect. It may be sensible at this point to try and build the support for your group some more. Encourage new attendees to bring new people to subsequent meetings.
  8. Once you have decided on a plan of action, get cracking with it! If you require grant funding, contact your local authority to see if they provide any grants for carbon reduction projects. Other options include “green bonds” and crowdfunding, eg. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo. Another option is to bring the community together and see if enough people are willing to make a financial contribution towards a community energy project.
  9. Once the project is complete, evaluate the amount of CO2 has been saved. Draw up a report or summary and send it to us so we can share your progress.

Build your group

It’s vital to try and build your group so it’s as big as possible. You should encourage each new attendee to reach out to new people, for example, friends, family and work colleagues. Other ways to do this include:

  1. Send a press-release to the local paper or radio station
  2. Write something on your website (which we can link to at camemergency.org)
  3. Print flyers and posting them through letterboxes
  4. Reach out to leaders of institutions, eg. schools, colleges, churches, mosques, temples, sports clubs.

You’re not alone!

Building a group can sometimes feel incredibly daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help and can offer training and support if you’re feeling stuck, disillusioned or just need to let off steam.

It gets easier, trust us. And the rewards are definitely worth it – you will have built something that’s really making a difference, not merely talking about it.

Remember: if you need help or advice with any of the stages above, please get in touch via camemergency at gmail dot com.

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