Posted by: Mike Grenville | 4 December 2008

Government Minister Bigs Up Transition

The newly appointed Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Milliband, gave a talk on Monday 24th November to the Environment Agency conference in London. In it he pointed to the essentail role that Transition Towns are playing.

He said “We need people not just to come with us, but to push us for more. We need popular pressure – pressure on me, on local councillors, on our public services and businesses.”

He went on to say that “Movements come from individual experiences which raise consciousness of the issues and are translated into bigger demands. So local campaigns and action whether it’s the Transition Town movement or pioneering local authorities – are absolutely essential. Not just because they are important in themselves but because they can help create a movement for change.

After much blushing to be cited in such august company, Rob Hopkins responded that “it doesn’t however mean that we can let his statement that “we need to show it’s possible to be for growth, for fairness and for tackling climate change” to go unchallenged.  Our continued obsession with economic growth is potentially utterly ruinous.”

Milliband concluded with an appeal to activists to keep up the pressure saying that “those who think we haven’t gone far enough, are a crucial part of securing change.”

Watch the video clip of Ed talking about Transition

Read the full text of his speech here



  1. Nice to hear a government minister sounding like he wants to do something, but it’ll be interesting to see whether he can influence his ministerial colleagues and actually progress any/many of the initiatives outlined.

    We’ve heard it all before …….

  2. My guess is that Ed Milliband is a ‘good guy’ and that his ability to ‘stick with it’ would be bolstered by an appreciative word from us (Transition Network).
    How about getting him along to a 2009 TT Conference?

  3. Sounds good but just how much pressure on government do they need before action – my own (con) MP is dismissive of my letters and he gives me the impression he is not in the mood to poke the government on (real) green issues.

    Transition Towns will work because they are the change in their localities, the very last place to embrace transition will be the corridors of centralised power and authority. They will get on board last.

    In the movement (as in any revolution) the leadership is already there at the grass-roots where their work is creating the change – in the transition towns doing what they need to do for their communities while turning their backs on carbon and the sections of society that want to keep using it. Be the change and the government will follow.

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