Cool Communities: Ecovillages that Change the Atmosphere

The scientific consensus of climate change is unequivocal. We must cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 80 to 90 percent within the next decade in order to avoid catastrophe. The Global Ecovillage Network has been pointing the way in this direction for the past 20 years. Launched formally at the UN Habitat-II conference in Istanbul in 1995, GEN existed as an informal network for some years earlier, with at least one of its member ecovillages having been around for 85 years, and others for 40 years or more. Ecovillages, by combining changes in behavior with patterns of land use, are creating carbon-negative human settlements. Transformational methodologies include sociocracy, permaculture, climate farming and afforestation. Existing examples have achieved net sequestrations of carbon-dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases (GHG) in excess of footprint (homes, businesses, residential activities and visitor travel) by a factor of 5 — five times more GHG permanently captured than emitted.


Albert Bates is author of The Biochar Solution, The Financial Collapse Survival Guide and numerous books, films and new media. A former lawyer, paramedic, miller and horse trainer at The Farm in Tennessee, he shared the Right Livelihood Award in 1980. A past president of the Global Ecovillage Network, he is presently GEN’s representative to the UN climate talks. He is also Chief Permaculture Officer for eCO2mmerce, bringing net carbon sequestration to hotels and residential developments in the Caribbean.


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Albert speaking at IPC 11:


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