We need innovative thinking and radical transformation to engage the UK public in climate action.
The charity Possible has published a new report - 10 Bold Ideas - that reflects five key challenge areas in accelerating climate action: cleaning up energy, working with nature, changing what we eat and buy, talking about the climate crisis, and changing how we travel.
Possible’s ten 'bold ideas' - combining policies, technologies and cultural interventions - were developed within the context of last year’s IPCC report on keeping to 1.5°C global warming and the clear need for rapid transformation. The report is published in tandem with the charity’s name change from 10:10 and new strategy.
One of the proposed programmes is a “National Climate Service” which would enable everyone to take paid leave to work on practical climate action projects such as tree planting, training exercises in retrofitting, renewable energy or low carbon farming techniques.
The report also includes calls to create a network of “electric motorway lanes” so that lorries and coaches can use the same overhead cable technology as trams and trains; a publicly owned “climate forest” on top of the nation’s disused open cast coal mines; and a “National Climate Helpline”, offering information on climate change, and support for anyone struggling with climate dread and access to crisis support on the impacts of climate change.
Max Wakefield, co-director at Possible, said: “Once the urgency and scale of the climate crisis is truly understood, you quickly realise that we’re stuck between the impossible and the unthinkable.
"You can either carry on business as usual and let the unthinkable become reality or you can make the impossible possible. The goal of this report it to inspire people to choose the latter and build the rapid, zero carbon transition the climate crisis demands.”
Imagining the future
Alice Bell, co-director at Possible, said: “This report was an exercise in imagining better futures. We all know how depressing the issue can be - it’s no surprise that climate dread is on the rise - but that shouldn’t let us lose sight of what we can do to tackle the crisis.
"The sheer scale of changes we need to make means it will touch everyone’s lives. If we’re going to move at the speed required - and if we’re going to ensure the new world we build is fair - everyone’s got to be involved.
"It’s vital we have ideas that don’t just cut carbon, but inspire people with positive climate action."
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from Possible.
Image: 10:10, Flickr.