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Engaging Views for Climate Week

13 March 2012

The Environment Forum will be taking part in the Be a Climate Saver event at York’s Newgate Market on Wednesday 14 March, as part of a programme of activities put on by voluntary groups, businesses, organisations and City of York Council to mark Climate Week 2012.

The Forum will be using the opportunity to pilot the  ‘Engage’ Campaign in York, an international campaign to raise awareness of climate change and showcase the actions that are being taken by people from all walks of life to combat it. The campaign is an initiative of the Covenant of Mayors and the Forum hopes to launch it formally in York soon.

Christian Vassie, an independent filmmaker/composer and former executive member of City of York Council, is spearheading the campaign for the Forum and will be out and about with his camera to interview members  of the public about their environmental hopes and dreams for the city.

‘York aspires to be a leading environmentally friendly city but there’s a lot of work still to do to achieve that,’ he said. ‘I want to talk to local people and find out from them what actions they would like to see us taking here in York that would help us to become a landmark sustainable city.’

York Environment Forum Chair Kate Lock, who is working with Christian on the project, said: ‘This is a great opportunity for us as a Forum to engage with members of the public. Normally we have quite formal meetings that involve a lot of talking, so it’s good to get outside and do some listening and doing for a change!

‘We are keen to work with the council to raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change and how it will affect our lives – and what we can do to help mitigate that. We know lots of people are taking actions, whether it’s walking the kids to school instead of driving them,  drying the washing outside instead of tumble-drying it, or buying local produce from local shops. By yourself, they can seem like insignificant things to do  – but if we all did these things, the impact would be enormous.

‘That’s what we want to do with Engage! York: show what people are already doing – and inspire others to do the same. European cities are way ahead of us in this area and if we are serious about being an environmentally sustainable city we all need to do our bit.’

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