Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson will today
ask people to mark World Environment Day by identifying the one
change they can make in their everyday lives to protect the environment
and fight climate change.
Mr Pearson, opening the £18 million River Quaggy Flood Alleviation
Scheme in South London, called on people to consider how they interacted
with the environment and their impact on the planet – and
how they could make a difference.
“Climate change is one of the greatest threats we face today – it
threatens our precious environment, our economy, our health and
well-being, and the way of life that is so important to us,” he
“We are already feeling some of the effects of climate change – and
that will inevitably increase. But if everyone acts now to help
stop climate change, we can avoid its worst effects and reduce
the level to which we need to adapt – both here in the UK
and the support millions of people around the world will need.
“All around the world today people are being asked what
they can do to become more conscious of their effect on the climate.
Here in the UK, the Environment Agency is carrying out the biggest
survey on climate change ever, asking three questions: the number
one thing people are doing to tackle climate change, the one extra
thing people could do to tackle climate change, and what’s
stopping them doing it.
“This really underlines one of the most important messages
we need everyone to take on board – not only will climate
change affect each and every one of us, but we can’t fight
it unless we’re all working together.”
Mr Pearson will also announce that the Government is to hold a
second competition for youth Climate Change Champions, young ambassadors
from the English regions who communicate climate change across
The nine inaugural Champions, aged between 13 and 17, have been
active in speaking out about climate change. Their efforts have
reached an estimated 18% of the adult population and have engaged
a large number of young people in the debate on what needs to be
done. The competition will kick off in the summer, and nine new
Champions will be appointed in the autumn.
To reach a broad range of audiences, Defra has released a new
booklet, Climate Change: Your Guide to Inspiring Action, to help
organisations communicate the ways in which people can make changes
in their lives to help fight climate change. The first guide, produced
last year, has been downloaded 40,000 times and 6000 hard copies
have been distributed.
Mr Pearson will make special mention of two other initiatives
launched today that focus on young people, funded by Defra’s
Climate Challenge Fund.
- The Royal Society of Arts and Tesco today launched a ‘Carbonator’ – an
online CO2 calculator aimed at children aged 7-14 to raise awareness
of climate change.
Royal Geographical Society, with the Institute of British Geographers,
has launched a new website for 11-18 year olds linking to the
geography curriculum. It provides a wealth of resources including
interactive features, images, and downloads, and has been developed
in partnership with schools to engage and inspire teachers and
students to understand climate change.
Other Climate Challenge Fund
projects are marking World Environment Day. Some highlights include:
- A London Climate Awareness Project initiative from the GLA
Initiative, with a stand at London City Hall on the Southbank
to raise awareness of climate change;
- The London Sustainability
Exchange will be using World Environment Day to pilot their
project (including a magic artiste) outside City Hall. They
aim to reach the Asian community at festivals throughout the
- A Green Roadshow in Newcastle-under-Lyme, produced by
Keele University in partnership with Staffordshire County Council,
with activities involving a fuel cell car, solar power, and
other renewable technology demonstrations;
- Bradford Council
are delivering postcards to 175,000 local households as part
of their June campaign, to enable people to get a free climate
change guide. The guide includes a cut-out-and-keep “Act
Now” page for people to refer to for ideas.
- The London
Borough of Bromley will be out at Glades Shopping Centre with
a manned display including its Climate Challenge film and other
resources for local shoppers.
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