Inspiring climate action

Just Stop Oil recently made headlines for its brazen tactics to raise awareness of the climate emergency. Examples include throwing tomato soup at a famous Van Gogh painting, vandalising buildings of firms accused of not doing enough to tackle global warming and campaigners gluing themselves to busy roads.

These are just the latest stunts to divide public opinion. But my feeling is that campaigners and decision-makers aren’t connecting constructively about how we – both in the UK and beyond – should achieve net zero.

As we’ve heard time and time again, achieving change will require everyone to act – a “global effort”. We need to inspire climate action. At Grasshopper, we’ve been working with Welsh Government to help tell the stories of some of the amazing organisations that have been doing just that. Local, community-focused initiatives -from repair café’s to cycling charities and consumer-owned wind farms – all doing their bit to tackle climate change.

Of course, there is a long way to go before Wales, and the rest of the world, can reduce their carbon emissions. No doubt this will frustrate those who want to see much quicker progress. For me, I think campaigners need to:

1. Empower and Engage.
Keep in mind that most of the British public are said to be ‘worried about the impact of climate change’ and leverage that to truly engage them. See the work we’ve done on the Optimised Retrofit project, which empowered social housing residents (many of whom were initially sceptical) to decarbonise their homes.

2. Talk about local impact.
Climate change is more than just ‘our weather getting warmer and wetter’. It is already impacting our natural world, from coastlines to wildlife, food supply and communities. We need to show people how the things we take for granted now, we may lose.

3. Get backing from credible and unbiased sources.
The ‘shock tactics’ we see today, especially from newly-formed groups, may make high-profile experts and influencers reluctant to reach out. Calm the stunts and focus on getting the messaging right, from people who have bases willing to listen.

4. Be patient with climate deniers.
Changing minds takes time. Engage in professional and non-combative dialogue with those who don’t believe we’re in a climate emergency, even if they try hard to encourage loud conversation so they can trend on social media.

5. Keep the tone positive.
The more we create a doom-and-gloom scenario, the more likely people will feel that ‘nothing can be done’. We should inspire positive action by showing what others are doing to find bold and brave solutions to our climate crisis.

Want to hear more on what Grasshopper is doing to help people and the planet? Get in touch here.

Author: John Price