The C8 and Gordon Brown commit to save their 20%

Well, what a day yesterday was and indeed today if anything else is to go by. Yesterday I led a delegation of community groups – public, private and voluntary sectors to meet with the Prime Minister and the Minister responsible for citizen engagement – Joan Ruddock to discuss the C8 roundtable initiative, which kicked off Energy Saving Week.

I felt we must have looked a bit like the light relief for the Prime Minister given that we met him and his colleagues in between meetings with the Turkish and Israeli Prime Ministers! The PM was in a relaxed, engaging mood and I have to say showed a good grasp of the issues that we brought to the table. I think a particularly strong part of this process has been getting the message across that whilst the Government has a clear role to play developing the framework, they will not be the agents of change that will make things happen on the ground. It was good to hear the Prime Minister talking about the Energy Saving Trust and our innovations and initiatives that help ordinary citizens reduce their energy usage. I was also particularly pleased that the rest of our C8 grouping all had an opportunity to get across their message about individual initiatives they are already running, or planning to run in the near future.

The group included:

·       Joy Greasley, Vice-Chair, National Federation of Women’s Institutes

·       Dr Martin Blake, Head of Sustainability, Royal Mail

·       Adam Vaughan, environmental journalist and blogger

·       Andrew Fisk, Director of External Relations, Procter & Gamble Europe

·       Kai Boschmann, Group Director of Corporate Affairs, DSGi plc

·       Rachel Bradley, Social Responsibility Manager, B&Q

·       David Shreeve, co-founder of the Conservation Foundation and environmental adviser to the Church of England

What with this and an honorary mention at Prime Minister’s Question Time today it’s been quite a significant twenty-four hours for the energy efficiency agenda. Let’s hope we make sure that this is not going to run out of steam any time soon.

You might like to look at the following photograph – I was particularly pleased to find myself for the first and almost certainly the last time, in the Foreign Secretary’s chair at the Cabinet table!