Members of Birmingham FOE set up a CRAG from the 1st of February 2007.

There are quite a number of CRAG groups already established around the country, each with its own agreed set of criteria based around a common theme.

Its aims are to apply the principles of Contraction and Convergence (C&C) into practical lifestyle measures by agreeing to monitor and reduce individual carbon footprints. The starting point is the 2003 average direct emissions figure for UK citizens of 5400kg. With the quite drastic emissions cuts needed to be made by the developed world and its citizens in order to meet the requirements of C&C a target has been agreed as 4500kg for the first 12 months of the Birmingham CRAG.

For practical reasons, it is not possible to calculate all of our carbon footprint, however the vast majority can be measured by taking into account household energy and transport.

Birmingham CRAG group have agreed the following principles:

  1. All members, who are able to, should ensure that their electrical supplier uses a 100 % renewable energy; e.g. Good Energy, Ecotricity.

  2. All members record their household energy usage by, for example, taking readings of their electric and gas meters.

  3. All car owners record their car mileage (a differential measure for different types of cars is available).

  4. All members, (after hiding their heads in shame!), record their plane travel mileage.

  5. Short distance public transport will not be recorded and unavoidable work related mileage by whatever means would not be recorded.

  6. Long distance public transport by train, bus or coach would be recorded.

CRAG members will keep their own records and will formally meet at the end of 12 months to see how people have managed. Some other CRAGs have a penalty system for those who exceed the target; the Birmingham CRAG have agreed that in the first year there will either be no penalty or a voluntary and capped penalty.

Anyone is welcome to join the Birmingham CRAG, simply contact me via the BFOE office.