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With many parts of the country still under flooding thanks to the unseasonal weather, will there now be a new impetus for measures to combat climate change? Barbara Panvel examines what's being done in the West Midlands.

Are the floods in many parts of the country further evidence of climate change?

At the July meeting of the West Midlands Economics Group Channel 4's programme, The Great Climate Change Swindle will be shown, followed by the Royal Society's rebuttal of such arguments.

There are some practical local developments designed to save or genrate clean energy: the East Birmingham Community Energy Company plans to set up a 'Committee of 100' - people who will carefully record their energy consumption and find acceptable ways of reducing it.

Birmingham City Council has installed the largest array of solar panels in Britain in the Alexander Stadium. It supplies electricity for the Stadium and sports centre and also sells some to the national grid.

The Duggans from Balsall Heath have installed a solar electricity (photovoltaic) system in their home which will generate around 900 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, one-third of their annual use. It produces no greenhouse gas emissions and will stop 510 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.

Balsall Heath Housing Co-op has installed solar hot water systems in five of its homes.

But should we go even further to ensure that energy consumption and carbon emissions are reduced?

The All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change group supports the setting up of the Contraction and Convergence Framework which would limit the total amount of carbon used and progressively reduce it.

Within this framework various individual rationing schemes of a similar nature are advocated: tradable energy quotas, domestic tradable quotas and the latest in MP Alan Simpson's Energy Bill - citizens' allowances.

Will these measures stabilise the world's climate over time?

Whatever the answer to this question, they will certainly do good.

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels we will improve the health of millions who suffer and die prematurely from air pollution and by making the equipment needed in the region, many employment opportunities would be created and energy security would be assured.

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