Memorandum submitted by Richard Swann
(A) A new or enhanced policy to increase
public awareness of climate change, its implications and mitigation
is required if emission targets are to be met. Facilitating better
public recognition of existing and future mitigation activities
by explicit climate change labelling, and publication of the top
10 personal mitigation actions for families, may usefully contribute
to more effective public awareness.
(B) The Government should use its chair
of G8 to influence governments not accepting the Kyoto targets.
The Government should seek to persuade them of the urgent necessity
for global action to mitigate climate change, and the need to
reduce their CO2 emissions.
1. To keep the United Kingdom on track in
reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires a new or enhanced policy
to increase public awareness. The publicity needs to result in
people changing the habits of a lifetime, and implementing personal
mitigation measures. Developing a suitable programme may necessitate
preliminary research as well as additional funding.
2. There are many activities being undertaken
by local authorities and other organisations which are not self
evident to the public as being mitigation or adaptation actions.
Awareness would be increased if there was some common national
or regional labelling or logo such as a "smiley earth".
Labelling all these activities would repeatedly remind us of their
underlying purpose of responding to climate change.
3. There are a variety of publications suggesting
things to do to reduce energy use. It might be helpful if a "top
ten" list of the most effective actions that we could personally
undertake to reduce CO2 emissions could be identified
and made widely available. Compiling the list would require not
just ranking by reduced carbon dioxide emission levels, but also
need a judgement of how likely individual measures would be implemented
by the community. This judgement would help to ensure that the
measures suggested were more likely to be accepted and would achieve
a substantial reduction in overall emissions. By contrast, just
valuing measures by reduced emission levels might lead to the
selection of a "top ten" which were less acceptable
to the community, and achieved a lower net reduction in emissions.
This "top ten" would periodically need review as the
community's evaluation of climate change altered with increased
acceptability of mitigation measures.
4. The publicity should make clear the value
of individual actions, the effect of which rapidly accumulates
when undertaken by many within the community.
5. With respect to the Government's role
as chair of G8, a prime role should be to attempt to persuade
"non-conforming" governments of the reality and overwhelming
importance of climate change as a potential global threat, and
the need to undertake mitigation measures to achieve Kyoto targets
30 September 2004