Burnham & Weston Energy joined other community groups in a workshop with Climate Change Committee members held last week in Taunton.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is an independent statutory body that advises government on emissions targets and adapting to climate change impacts. CCC members attending included senior advisor Louise Marix Evans, Adaptation Committee representative Rosalyn Schofield and climate scientist Professor Piers Forster. They wanted to hear about the challenges and opportunities communities face when tackling the climate emergency at a community level.

Key points highlighted in our debate

Debate in our group highlighted the importance of:

  • A clarity of vision as to what taking action climate change will mean – this vision needs to be relevant to the people in our communities
  • A clarity of language – a clear and familiar meaning of the words and images used to talk about climate change and climate action will engage more people and communities in making positive changes
  • Place-based solutions – climate change action deemed relevant for one area/one street/one house, might not work in another (“you can’t take the bus when there’s not a bus to take”); we need local solutions based on local knowledge and experience
  • Leadership – making change through delivering action is contagious; people want to know what to do
  • Agency – enable people to make decisions, changes and take action so that everyone can play a part in climate action
  • Policy action now based on what we know about climate now
  • System change – we need different ways of being, socially, politically and economically

Organised by Somerset County Council, the event also gave the CCC the opportunity to speak with other local stakeholders. These included county, district and town council staff, businesses, environment and community leaders. Exploring the challenges of achieving net zero in a rural area, the debate also covered energy, transport, flooding and water management, planning and barriers to change such as inconsistent funding and red tape.

The event was one of a series the Climate Change Committee are attending throughout the UK. A report on the findings is expected later this year.

For more information, click here to visit the Somerset County Council news page.