Climate Week 2013 was Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion. Over 3,400 events were registered, attended by about half a million people. They involved every part of society and showed an enormous appetite across the UK for collective action on climate change.
The events ranged from the launch of the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership to a conference on geoengineering at Oxford University, from climate trails at Birmingham Botanical Gardens to a sustainable business event in Belfast, from a bicycle-powered film screening in London, The Green Events & Innovations conference for the live music industry in London to the world’s largest green construction trade show, Ecobuild. Hundreds of pubs and offices ran the Climate Week Pub Quiz.
More than 200,000 people in schools and workplaces took part in the Climate Week Challenge, which this year was to design the ultimate eco-home. Pupils from Manchester schools did the challenge at Manchester United with the England football coach Gary Neville, and many from London schools took part at St Paul’s Cathedral hosted by the Bishop of London.
Celebrity support for Climate Week included people such as Sir Paul McCartney (who put the Climate Week logo on his Twitter profile picture) and Sir Tom Jones (who encouraged people to sign the Climate Week Declaration). The low-carbon Climate Week t-shirt was modelled by the Britain’s Got Talent judge, Alesha Dixon, and television chef Raymond Blanc promoted our sustainable food initiative Climate Week Cuisine. Actress Zoe Wanamaker helped to publicise Climate Week Swap events at which people could exchange clothes and books. The model Nell McAndrew, who is heavily pregnant, promoted our call for parents to act on climate change by being photographed with the words Protect the Future written on her bump.
Government support included the Prime Minister (who wrote the introduction to Climate Week’s launch), the head of the civil service and 15 Whitehall departments, as well as the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly. The Office of National Statistics released new data for Climate Week on household energy use. Two UK government ministers spoke at Climate Week’s London launch and a Scottish Government minister at its Edinburgh launch.
There was huge support for the Climate Week Declaration, which calls for government to do more on climate change, starting with decarbonisation targets in the Energy Bill. This was signed by over 200 organisations including the TUC, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the business-led Aldersgate Group and the British Medical Association. The Declaration was handed to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change during Climate Week.
Online promotion of Climate Week was enormous – for example Climate Week was at the top of Twitter’s UK trending table for most of the launch day.