Climate change can be a complex subject. Providing relevant, practical information and education therefore needs to be a core part of any solutions to delivering lasting changes in behaviour.
Each and every one of us plays a part in shaping our environment, and our individual as well as collective actions can help deliver real change in Reading and beyond.
From thinking about how we travel, what we consume and how we interact with our surroundings, responding to a changing climate as well as effectively reducing Reading’s impact on climate change will depend on significant long-term changes in behaviour. These changes need to be broad-reaching, incorporating homes, communities, places of education, of work and of businesses themselves.
How we behave is determined by many factors, such as our habits, our beliefs, our values our cultural expectations, as well as by incentives. Long-lasting change does not happen overnight, but the groundswell of support for initiatives such as Transition Town Reading’s Refill Reading scheme, which received grant funding support from the Climate Change Partnership, demonstrates how individual actions can quickly multiply and lead to significant change.
We have identified the following strategic priorities:
- To integrate sustainable behaviour promotion and practice throughout schools and colleges, homes, businesses and workplaces. (T7SP1)
- To promote and raise awareness of the range of opportunities, initiatives, successes and challenges relating to climate action across Reading. (T7SP2)
What action are we taking?
Schools, colleges and universities have a key role to play in ensuring the current generation are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to take action on climate change. We are pleased to support the Interclimate Network in running a fantastic annual model climate conference, timed around the global ‘conference of the parties’ climate change talks. Participant schools are then invited to a National Summit with a number of MPs, held at Portcullis House, Westminster, with an opportunity to take part in a series of themed workshops.
Our Climate Forum talks have proved a popular way to communicate with the local community across a range of climate-related issues, with some excellent speakers from the Environment Agency, the University of Reading and more.
In June 2018, our friends at Connect Reading invited us to run a climate-themed breakfast event with local businesses, providing a great opportunity to discuss the likely impacts on Reading of a changing climate, and the opportunities to reduce these impacts.
Full details of our Education, Communication and Influencing Behaviour Action Plan can be found here.