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Climate education programme pledges aim to save equivalent of two return flights to Australia

Chichester District Council is celebrating Carbon Literacy Action Day on 4 December by announcing that it has now trained nearly all of its managers, and delivered dedicated sessions for councillors, since introducing the 'Carbon Literacy' initiative earlier this year.

Carbon Literacy Action Day - Love Your District Protect Our World

This climate education training programme has led to staff pledging changes to their everyday activities both at work and at home, which could amount to a reduction of around 12 tonnes of carbon — the equivalent of two return flights to Australia.

Training decision makers about climate change is just one of over 60 actions outlined in the council's Climate Emergency Action Plan, with the aim of further embedding climate action into the heart of the organisation.

The comprehensive training programme, which is designed by the Carbon Literacy Project and is delivered by the council's Environmental Strategy team, gives officers and members the tools to further integrate climate considerations into the council's day-to-day work.

The council is also supporting the University of Chichester with their carbon journey by delivering a course to its staff and students in the new year.

"We know that education is a crucial tool in our fight against climate change," says Councillor Jonathan Brown, Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council. "The more conversations we have that help us all understand the causes and impacts of climate change, the more empowered and motivated we feel to make the changes necessary to reduce its impacts.

"Completion of the first phase of our climate education programme comes as Carbon Literacy Action Day takes place today (4 December). COP28 also begins this month, during which world leaders will meet and, we hope, agree on ways to much more urgently address the climate crisis.

"Our progress with the new carbon literacy training project is a really positive milestone that will enable both our staff and councillors to better address climate change in their policies and projects. The course covers the importance of mitigating the effects of climate change, actions that are already taking place locally, and what further actions can be taken on a personal and community level. Staff that have completed the training have made both an individual and service pledge, which aim to reduce their carbon footprint.

"As a council, we're committed to reducing the council's own carbon emissions. We are also really keen to encourage residents, businesses and organisations to join us in helping to reduce the district-wide carbon footprint. This training programme is just one of many actions that the council is taking to help tackle the effects of climate change in our area. A huge amount of work has already been done to deliver and progress a range of major projects, including introducing two new electric vehicles to the council's refuse collection fleet, and improving the energy efficiency of both the Westgate Leisure Centre and the council's short stay homelessness accommodation.

"The council's own carbon emissions equate to a small fraction of the district's emissions, so the council decided to set an ambitious carbon reduction target across the district to unite the efforts of individuals and organisations. This is, however, a massive challenge that will also require change at a national and regional level. Even so, there are steps - big and small - that everyone can take to make a difference and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and participate in projects that help to care for our environment."

Further information about the work the council is doing to help combat the effects of climate change can be found on the Climate Change section of the council's website.

Also on these pages, residents and businesses can find out more about how they can do their bit to help tackle climate change. There are also details about a range of grants that residents may be able to access to help them make their homes more energy efficient through free or low-cost insulation, solar panels and heat pump heating systems. These are on the home energy efficiency webpage on our website. 

District businesses that are interested in delivering Carbon Literacy training to staff within their organisations can find information about this on the Carbon Literacy Project website (opens new window)

They can also contact the council for advice on this by emailing:

Date of Release: 4 December 2023                                                        

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