A response to the Climate Assembly UK survey

25 November 2020  |  by Graham Lally

In June this year Climate Assembly UK brought together people from all walks of life to discuss how the UK can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. At the assembly, participants learnt about climate change and how the UK can address it, took time to discuss this with one another, and then made recommendations about what should happen.

The annual UK Parliament Week event ran at the start of November. As part of its many activities, it highlighted some of the recommendations that emerged from the Climate Assembly UK group held in 2020.

The UK Parliament Week survey looked at three areas of the recommendations – our approach to dairy and meat, to buying things, and to local engagement for tackling climate change. Naturally, all three of those are really important to SEA and the work we aim to do. So what ideas would we offer to the local community around these topics?

Choosing three ideas to push forward on each is a tricky challenge – it feels like there’s so much to do! Here are our starters-for-ten – let us know if you think we’ve missed anything important.

1. What are your top three ideas for how to encourage people to change their diets?

Open up conversations and information about where our food comes from with local shops and suppliers.

So often, we have very little idea of how far our food has travelled, where feed has come from, or the effect on forest ecosystems to produce what we buy. We can ask the tricky questions and highlight the answers, making the impact of what we eat more obvious.

Promote local suppliers with sustainable values and sustainable supply chains.

It needs to be easy to get hold of food that we trust, and so providing relevant information is the first step to changing our everyday habits.

Encourage cooking skills and recipe sharing within the community.

Sometimes trying out a new meal idea can instantly change how you see a gnarled vegetable or an ingredient you’d never consider.
See our food page for more.

2. What are your top three ideas for how to encourage people to repair, share and/or reuse things more often?

Set up a community space to bring together repair skills.

There are so many people with expertise in maintaining and fixing the things we use – establishing a space to bring them together would make it so much easier to bring things to be repaired, but also to share experience and spread the skills that are useful to keep things running.

Encourage local re-use networks.

Often there’s no need to buy new, or to dispose so quickly. We can drastically cut huge amounts of wasted energy – and cash – by using things that others no longer need, and passing them on when their task is done.

Set up community-based ‘libraries’ for shared resources.

Not everybody needs everything at the same time – a more efficient approach to commonly-used resources would cut the need for consumption drastically, and further help to bring people together to share their skills.

See our consumption and waste pages for more info.

3. What are your top three ideas for how to engage people in your local area about how they can help tackle climate change?

Run regular events.

Getting together with a shared aim in mind can open up all kinds of results and conversations – from looking after a piece of land to sharing a bike ride, and from swapping seeds to having a cup of tea. Being able to work towards something positive can spark imagination and pride, instead of doom and gloom!

Find out what problems and challenges people have.

Ultimately, we’re all just human beings and hit challenges all the time. It’s our ability to help each other out in times of need that gives us a sense of humanity. We can start with acknowledging the problems each other have, and work together to resolve them – for individuals, for families, for whole towns and cities.

Set up a local network of interested people!

At its heart, this is what SEA is all about – letting the community know that there are others with an interest, and bringing them all together.


Interested in joining us? Got ideas of your own? Get in touch or join our mailing list to find out more.

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