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All-electric Battle Bus rolls into Cumbria to highlight climate emergency

Photo of Planet Mark' Carbon Battle Bus Planet Mark's "Carbon Battle Bus"

Efforts by Cumbrian businesses and community groups to tackle the climate emergency will be showcased ahead of the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Burneside Community Energy (BCE) Ltd., near Kendal, will become the next stop on the Planet Mark Carbon Battle Bus’s tour of the UK when it rolls into Cumbria on Wednesday, October 13.

The Battle Bus, a 100% electric and emission-free tour bus, is touring the UK, starting from Cornwall’s Eden Project and concluding in Glasgow for COP26, which runs from October 31 to November 12.

Community-led renewable energy is the theme of the Cumbrian visit, which has been co-ordinated by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) on behalf of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership (ZCCP).

ZCCP brings together 80 organisations spanning the county’s public, private and third sectors, with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Battle Bus’s role is to showcase how the UK’s regional business groups are addressing the climate emergency, spread the zero carbon messages to communities in Cumbria and demonstrate how the county can contribute to the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target.

Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of Planet Mark, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Cumbria Action for Sustainability and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership on this Zero Carbon Tour event as part of the Together For Our Planet campaign in the build up to COP26.

“We look forward to gathering in-person and online with the Cumbrian community to talk about how all businesses and organisations, no matter their size, can contribute to the fight against climate change by committing to net zero carbon. Through the critical Race to Zero we can all play a part in our planet’s future”.

BCE Ltd. was set up in November 2015 to support the development of community-owned renewable energy and low carbon projects in Burneside and the surrounding area.

Since then, BCE has installed just under 1000kW of solar panels on the roofs of buildings belonging to James Cropper PLC in Burneside. The electricity generated via these panels is sold to James Cropper. All profits derived from this are used to fund local community projects.

For example, in 2020, BCE paid for solar panels to be installed on the roof of St Oswald’s CE Primary School in Burneside. This reduces the school’s electricity bills and also its carbon footprint, whilst at the same time providing the school with an invaluable educational resource.

Representatives from BCE and James Cropper will be on hand to explain how the project evolved and joined by partner organisations working towards the shared aim of making Cumbria the first carbon-neutral county in the UK by 2037.

Video and written case studies from the visit will be produced and shared on the website of Carbon Copy, the UK charity whose aim is to inspire big-thinking local action on the climate crisis, ahead of COP26.

CAfS CEO Karen Mitchell said: “Individuals, organisations and communities in Cumbria are very aware of the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are taking action. With such a critical UN meeting just over the border in a month’s time, this trip by Planet Mark is a great way of demonstrating the drive and determination of Cumbrians to make a difference. It is vital that global leaders take heed and step up and do the same.

Dr Rebecca Weston, CLEP Clean Energy Sector Panel Chair, said: “Our panel has developed an ambitious programme to underpin the county’s net zero carbon ambition by supporting a wide range of clean energy generation technologies. Community led schemes of all sizes are an important piece of the jigsaw.

“I’m therefore very pleased that the Planet Mark Battle Bus will be stopping off in Cumbria to help highlight how county-based businesses and individuals can play their part in the all-important drive towards net zero.”

The Battle Bus is due to arrive at the Bryce Institute, Burneside (post code LA9 6QX) between 10am and 10.30am on Wednesday, October 13, and is expected to remain for approximately three hours.

For further information, please contact Kieran Macfadzean, Marketing and Communications Officer, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, on 07899 856298 ( or Lucy Clarke, Communications Manager, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, on 07767 758915 (

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