Green week should stress the climate message, writes Erin McDaid of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
When it comes to issues relating to tackling climate change the focus of debate is often focused on the damaging impact of temperature rises and concerns about the future, writes Erin McDaid of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
In the face of a seemingly relentless stream of bad news, it can be difficult to stay in the right frame of mind necessary to take positive action.
In just a few weeks leaders from around the world will gather in Glasgow for the COP26 UN Climate Conference. We have to hope that the message about the urgent need for action is getting through — but hope alone is not enough.
We must continue to voice our concerns and demand action.
Now really is the time.
This week is Great Big Green Week and promises to be the largest event for climate and nature ever seen here in the UK. As members of the Climate Coalition, The Wildlife Trusts will be taking part and we’re encouraging everyone to get involved.
While the issues we are raising are very serious, we are determined that there should be a sense of positivity this week, with people agreeing to take positive steps to limit their impact on climate change and sharing positive stories about the actions of others.
We want to celebrate how communities are taking action to tackle climate change and to protect local green spaces.
We very much hope that these stories inspire others to act.
Alongside celebrating action and sharing ideas, we will be calling on politicians to make clear where they stand on taking the necessary action to tackle climate change and we’re expecting businesses, national institutions and media outlets will all join in — to put pressure on the UK government to up its game on climate change.
At a time when the impact of extreme weather events caused by climate change on people and places have never been more visible, it will be refreshing to focus on positive actions as a way on demonstrating we can turn things around — if enough of us act and politicians make the right choices.
As we gear up to the COP26 Conference the eyes of the world will be on the UK and this means parliament and local councils will be keen to be seen as being ambitious in tackling climate-related issues — giving us possibly our best chance yet of being heard.
There is still time to take part by signing thetimeisnow declaration or pledging to do more at home via the Great Big Green Week website.
Simple actions you can take at home include signing up for a renewable energy tariff or focusing on reducing energy consumption. You could reduce food waste or limit your meat consumption by committing to meat-free Mondays or make a commitment to repairing household items rather than simply replacing them.
Alongside taking action at home, it is also clear that some of the best ways to tackle climate change are found in nature.
Wetlands act as natural flood defences, trees improve air quality and lock away carbon and peatlands, such as those found in north Nottinghamshire, provide vital carbon stores if properly protected and cared for.
By supporting nature, including in our homes and gardens, we can help tackle climate change.
Simple actions include starting a compost heap to reduce food waste and provide wildlife habitat, leaving an area of your lawn uncut to allow wild flowers to flourish or simply spending time in nature noticing change and being inspired to take action.
When we band together, we can be a collective voice for change that will become impossible to ignore.
Make sure you use your voice to tell politicians that you want a greener, more wild rich and healthier world that works for people and nature.
Let’s send a message to the Prime Minister as he prepares to welcome his peers for the summit – asking him to build back better and take action now on climate change.