Monday, 17 November 1997

Climate Campaign Update Aug - Nov 1997

Since the last issue of the newsletter there have been two stalls in Sheffield city centre, aiming to raise public awareness of climate change issues.  The first was on Saturday 12th April, at Castle Markets.  This followed the launch of the national FoE Climate Change Campaign the previous Saturday, and focused on encouraging passers by to sign the Climate Challenge. This postcard to Regional Electricity Companies highlights the choice available to consumers following energy liberalisation next year. As well as putting pressure on the electricity companies, it is hoped that this stall will also have alerted the public to the choice available to them from next year. The postcard contained the following wording:

I am very concerned about the threat of global climate change and the role that burning fossil fuels for energy generation plays in increasing this threat.

I don’t want to contribute to climate change by buying energy produced from fossil fuels. Nor do I want to add to the legacy of nuclear waste by using energy from nuclear power.

From 1998, liberalisation of the energy industry will mean I can choose my energy supplier.  I will be looking for a company which:
  • comes clean on the environmental damage caused by electricity production
  • tells me how to save money and fight climate change
  • gives me the option to buy electricity generated from a renewable resource
By the end of the afternoon, we had a collection of signed postcards to send off to Yorkshire Electricity on behalf of the public. Efforts then turned to completing the Globe - our wicker and cloth wonder which we commenced building earlier in the year.  Fitting the fabric to such a rotund figure required more mathematics and dress making skills than one might imagine, but eventually it was completed, and the countries were painted on by Jean to add the finishing touch.  

The Globe had its first trip out on Saturday 14th June, outside the Town Hall. This coincided with the beginning of FoE’s week of action on climate change.  This time, rather than raising awareness of energy liberalisation and green energy, we decided to focus on energy conservation and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Over the last few months, with the help of the City Council, we have produced a Climate Savers Pledge and an Energy Saving information leaflet. We asked members of the public to pledge to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by making energy savings in their homes and gardens. This was posted into the Globe, and will be delivered to Tony Blair to show Sheffield’s commitment to reducing their production of greenhouse gases.  It is hoped that this will encourage the Prime Minister to push for tough, legally binding targets on emissions at the Kyoto Climate Summit later this year. If you haven’t yet signed a pledge, please do so - the more we have, the better.  

If anyone is interested in helping out with forthcoming Climate Change activities, please contact Mike Sparks on 2967324.