A Review of Canterbury Climate Action Week 2021

A Review of Canterbury Climate Action Week 2021

by Yvonne Freeman, Director of CCAP

This report is also available to download as a PDF.

Sunday, 24th October
United Nations Peace Service & Launch of Canterbury Climate Action Week

The Service was organised by the United Nations Association, Canterbury, with a Climate focus and was supported by The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover.

Dr Carl Wright, Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP), with

The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, Patron of  CCAP who addressed the congregation about Climate Change.

Valeria Minisini, Chair of UNA Canterbury, Dr Carl Wright, Chair of CCCAP,

The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Freddie McCormack, Director of CCAP and

Lucy Slack – Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Various organisations took part in the procession during the service and  exhibitions on Climate Change were on display at the back of the  cathedral.   Members of the congregation spoke to the stall holders, who were able to explain how their organisations were addressing the challenges presented by Climate Change.

Monday, 25th October
Local Government Day – Climate Action in Canterbury District

Climate Conversations in The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

This event was organised by Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council.

Nicholas Thurston, Climate Change Officer at Canterbury City Council, answers some questions on Climate Change  from local residents.

Around thirty people attended the session, joining conversations about climate action and carbon emissions reduction.  The conversations were wide ranging and included district energy, transition away from fossil fuel powered vehicles, home energy efficiency, diet and agriculture, consumption and reuse of materials and products.  The audience was largely self-selecting, consisting of people who are already concerned about the rapid changes to the climate and climate action.

Staff from local company, Solaris Energy, attended the day and provided a stall with information about how to change from a fossil fuel heating system to a ground source or air source heat pump.  It was helpful for residents to be able to discuss and think about these alternatives to gas and oil fuel boilers as gas contributes to around 35% of district energy emissions.

Monday, 25th October
Canterbury Festival Talks: The Global Climate Emergency

Dr Carl Wright – Moderator &
Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership

The Panel:
Lucy Slack – Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum
Dan Watkins – Kent County Councillor – Environment & Transport
Dr William Rowlandson – Vice Chairman, Canterbury Climate Action Partnership
Ella Scarr – Chair of Environmental Awareness at Kent Youth County Council

Ella Scarr – Representing the Youth of Kent answering a question from the audience.

Over one hundred people attended the event and were able to share their concerns and ask questions about Climate Change.  The panel was able to explain the vision of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership to address the challenges of Climate Change in the local area, whilst at the same time helping local residents to gain a wider knowledge of what they as individuals could do to address the impact.

Tuesday, 26th October
Community and Civic Action Day

The day was organised by The Canterbury Society and included exhibitions by a wide variety of local community organisations.

The stalls highlighted the significant role of nature-based solutions to addressing the climate crisis, as well as new initiatives tackling the biodiversity crisis, innovative ideas about climate-friendly travel and a display of tapestries inspired by climate change
Keith Bothwell gave an illustrated talk on ‘Repair Cafés: reducing waste and strengthening communities.’

The Soroptimists International Canterbury stand highlighted details of their work on a local and international basis to address Climate Change.

Geoff Meaden, Secretary of The Canterbury Society, gave a talk on ‘The Broader aspects of Climate Change’.

Martin Vye from the Canterbury Alliance for Sustainable Transport gave a talk on ‘More by-passes: a cure for Climate Change and a solution to congestion?’

Speakers from a range of local groups including Kent Wildlife Trust, the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership and Kent Pond and Tree wardens hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘Nature-based solutions to Climate Change.’

Approximately seventy people visited the stalls representing a wide range of local community organisations and attended the talks on Climate Change covering an interesting range of topics.

Wednesday, 27th October
Green Business Day

Hosted by Canterbury BID with Pillory Barn, over 50 local businesses gathered to put a spotlight on climate change and biodiversity, and the business support we need to transition to a net zero economy.

The event was a celebration of local businesses committed to reducing carbon emissions, addressing climate change and promoting biodiversity with the launch of new trials.  The Foundry Brew Pub in Canterbury kindly provided the venue and refreshments.   Business support events also took place for those starting the journey towards a net zero economy.

Lisa Carlson – Chief Executive of Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID) speaking to the attendees about Climate Action initiatives amongst business in Canterbury at the event at the Foundry.

Dr Carl Wright – Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership explaining about the work of CCAP and his vision for the organisation moving forwards.

Representatives from a wide range of local businesses heard from several speakers including Lisa Carlson, Chief Executive of Canterbury BID, and Dr Carl Wright, Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership about enterprising initiatives being taken to address carbon emissions and climate change within the district.

The event closed with an opportunity for local businesses to network and share ideas and plans for addressing Climate Change moving forwards.

Thursday, 28th October
Education and Schools’ Day

This day was organised by Canterbury Climate Action Partnership in association with local schools, colleges and universities, including Canterbury College, University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.

The University of Kent ran a Climate Action Week in parallel beginning with an online session hosted by Sustainability Coordinator, Emily Mason, entitled ‘SDG and a Cup of Tea: Climate Action – a COP26 Discussion.  Staff came together to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a particular focus on Goal 13, Climate Action. Following a discussion on key sustainability topics, they came up with lots of exciting new suggestions and ideas.

On Tuesday, the launch of the University of Kent’s Sustainability Strategy took place and was introduced by Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience.  This was followed by a presentation by Dr Catherine Morris on the main four themes that run through the strategy.  Finally, a panel discussion, chaired by Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation, took place to  facilitate dialogue on how the strategy will be implemented across the University.

Dr William Rowlandson, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, and Vice Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership organised a Sustainability Tour following the SDG trail around the Canterbury campus on the Wednesday. Topics such as sustainable innovation, campus biodiversity, and responsible consumption were discussed.  The tour ended with an introduction to the Kent Community Oasis Garden (Kent COG) from Emily Mason where those participating talked about SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals, learnt about the work that volunteers are doing in the garden, and signed up to become volunteers.

The University hosted its own COP26@Kent: Co-create your campus of the future at the Gulbenkian on the Thursday.  The event brought the many different areas of sustainability, together allowing the opportunity to talk about the challenges and successes of sustainability at Kent. The areas that were represented included: Waste and Procurement, Energy and Buildings, Curriculum and Research, Sustainable Food, Biodiversity and Grounds, Transport (including representatives from Stagecoach and Bird), and Student Action (including representatives from the SAC Sustainability Working Group, and the ECS Society). The Sustainability Ideas Factory was also launched, giving students the chance to win up to £500 by submitting their best ideas about how we can make the University of Kent more sustainable.

Canterbury Christ Church University hosted a Climate Action Day mini-conference, open to staff, students and members of the local community.

The programme for the day included talks, group discussions, sustainability activities stations, and climate workshops around building a climate action movement, carbon literacy and pictures of success. In addition, representatives from local community organisations Green Peace, Extinction Rebellion Canterbury and Kent Scouts Inclusion Team were present to discuss their sustainability work in the wider community.

Social and sports societies from our Students’ Union also coordinated a day of student action, conducting litter picks across the course of Climate Action Day.

Sustainability Activity Stations

Climate Action Day attendees contributed to a collaborative quilt project for COP26, folded peace cranes for an on-campus installation, played ‘How Bad Are Bananas?’ a carbon footprint myth-busting game, made seed bombs, wrote climate commitments to add to a tree of hands, and climate confessions to prompt non-judgmental discussion around the barriers to adopting change.

30+ students, staff and locals attended our Climate Action Day event

Friday, 29th October
Public Rally & Closing Ceremony: Looking to a Green-led Recovery focussed on Climate Action and Biodiversity.

The rally was attended by members of the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership who had organised events during the week, local representatives on Climate Change, and members of the public.

We were delighted that Rosie Duffield MP was able to join us for the Closing Rally and to give her perspective on Climate Change.

It was good to see representatives from the youth actively involved in the dialogue with some challenging questions.

Rosie Duffield MP addressed the audience and answered questions from the audience on Climate Change.

Claire Millett, Chief Executive of the Westgate Hall (who kindly provided the venue for the closing rally), and Chair of the Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID) Board addressed the audience and spoke of her vision for Climate Change within the business sector of Canterbury.

During our public rally and closing ceremony, we adopted our Canterbury Commitment to Climate Action which was the key outcome of the week and demonstrates what our Canterbury Climate Action Partners have committed to and what we took to COP26.

Saturday, 30th October
Fairtrade Fair with Climate Change Exhibition

The week concluded with a Fairtrade Fair and Climate Change Exhibition at St Peter’s Church Hall, which highlighted the issues surrounding Climate Change across the world and locally and the various steps being taken to address these issues.

COP26 in Glasgow – 31st October – 12th November 2022

The Canterbury Climate Action Partnership team representing the organisation at COP26 from left to right:
Lisa Carlson – Chief Executive of Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID)
Dr Carl Wright – Chair of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership
Yvonne Freeman – Director of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership
Dan Watkins – KCC Councillor – Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee
Fred McCormack – Director of Canterbury Climate Action Partnership

Following the conclusion of Canterbury Climate Action Week, representatives from Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP) pictured above attended COP26 in Glasgow. CCAP was the only organisation from Kent present at COP26. During their time there, our representatives attended a wide range of events, spent time at the exhibition and took advantage of the many opportunities to network with other organisations working to address the issues surrounding Climate Action.

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