What is a Transition Initiative?

Transition Initiatives are an emerging and evolving approach to community-level sustainability, which began in England in 2005 and has rapidly spread around the world since then.

Transition Initiatives are based on four key assumptions:
1) That life with drastically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
2) That our settlements and communities presently lack the resilience to enable them to weather the severe energy shocks that will accompany peak oil.
3) That we have to act collectively, and we have to act now.
4) That by unleashing the collective genius of those around us to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching and that recognise the biological limits of our planet.

If we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected and more vibrant, with a happier and less stressed population, an improved environment and increased stability. Transition Initiatives make no claim to have all the answers, but by building on the wisdom of the past and accessing the pool of ingenuity, skills and determination in our communities, the solutions can readily emerge.

Established Transition Initiatives consist of many sub-groups in key areas such as food, transport, energy, housing, education, flora and fauna,  and create practical projects in response to the question “how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?

They then design and implement an Energy Descent Action Plan, a 15-20 year plan that creates a coordinated range of projects in all these key areas, with the aim of bringing the community to a sufficiently resilient and low CO2-emitting state.

To learn more about the Transition movement, click here.


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