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YEF partners City of York Council to get York ENGAGEd!

4 October 2012

York Environment Forum is delighted to announce a partnership with the City of York Council to support its sustainability team to deliver the York is ENGAGEd campaign.

The Forum was instrumental in bringing the EU campaign to the Council’s attention through the work of YEF member Christian Vassie.  Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, signed the Engage Cities Charter on behalf of  the City of York at a meeting of YEF in July 2012 (see below).

 York is ENGAGEd sees York joining major cities across Europe in a poster campaign  showing people, groups, organisations and businesses doing real things to tackle climate change. York is one of only two cities in the UK (the other is Leicester) to sign up to the Covenant of Mayors’ initiative, which CYC will be using to help deliver its Sustainable City York objectives. York 800 and iTravel York are also supporting the cross-cutting campaign.

The campaign uses public awareness to spread the message about the simple actions people can take to reduce their carbon footprint through a poster template. The eye-catching posters of local people will be displayed in public buildings and around the city. Participants are asked to make a simple pledge, to ‘engage’ to commit to a lifestyle change that will reduce their energy use, which is captured in a speech bubble on the poster.

Participants are also recommended to record their carbon footprint using a simple online carbon calculator tool. This gives a means of following up a percentage of them in a year’s time to see whether they have stuck to their pledges and made any other changes to reduce their emissions.

Kate Lock, Chair of York Environment Forum, said: ‘It needs all of us to work together to help tackle climate change. This campaign not only shows the many different and simple actions we can all take; it also encourages people because you can see others making a personal commitment. The more people that take part, the greater the effect will be. I can’t wait to see the whole of York ‘Engaged’!’

The formal launch of the campaign was at the York Festival of Food and Drink on Tuesday 25 September. Local bands, poets and performers played for free to entertain the audience, and volunteer photographer Ben Priest took photographs. You can currently view Ben’s album of launch photographs on Facebook on the York Environment Forum page or on Ben’s gallery on Ben Priest Photography.

Once we have turned these photographs into posters they will be available to view in the online gallery for ‘ York is Engaged’ on the Engage Cities website, which already has a number of great posters from two previous events (Climate Week and the York Festival of Cycling). Thanks to our other volunteer photographers, John Bird, Anna Bialkowska and Christian Vassie.

The campaign has received media coverage in The Press, which featured local band Full Stop to promote the event. To read the full copy, see Press Release York is ENGAGEd

City of York Council has more about York is Engaged on its own website – see here

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