Our ambition for community engagement in action on climate change
Our goal for climate action in our community is that everyone who lives, works, studies or plays in Reading understands Reading’s pathway to net zero carbon, is equipped with the knowledge, tools and support required to make their contribution to it, and takes ownership and responsibility for the corporate and individual action required to get there.
Following the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, an extensive programme of community engagement took place, following the guiding principles for City Climate Action Planning recommended by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). This commenced with a public forum attended by over 120 people. This gathering identified the key themes for the strategy and led to the creation of theme groups which have been open for anyone to join since June 2019. The groups have been advertised online and via conventional media, meeting physically and virtually. The community-led theme groups have had a fundamental influence on the development of action plans within the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy. Individuals and communities have a huge part to play in tackling the climate emergency via the choices they make and the signals they send through, for example, their purchasing and consumption decisions. We therefore need to equip them with the advice and tools they require to understand and reduce their impact on climate change. The consultation process which informed development of this strategy highlighted the enthusiasm and commitment which the people of Reading are willing to bring to the challenge of tackling climate change. We asked what changes people would be willing to make to this end and a selection of responses is shown here.
A climate change communications and engagement plan for Reading
While the community in Reading is relatively engaged in the climate change debate, we know that we have a long way to go before we reach everyone. As such, we have developed a detailed communications and engagement plan, encompassing the launch of the final version of this strategy, and a programme of events and initiatives to support engagement of the whole community in its implementation.