December 2018 Newsletter
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Hi everyone! Welcome to the Christmas edition of the HFTF newsletter, join us as we reflect on our 2018 highlights and look forward what to 2019. Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and happy new year. — Georgia
Letter from our director, Jo
Join us in sending a greetings card to your MP wishing them well and asking them to make climate change a priority for 2019. We’re also posting our cards on social media to #postforthefuture, as you can see!
I’m delighted to share some of this year’s highlights with you in this month’s special edition newsletter. We’re proud of everything has been achieved with the dedication and energy of thousands of campaigners across the UK, but we need to do more. Next year we want to reach more MPs, train more campaigners and push for increasingly ambitious policy.
Please continue to join us on the journey to drive climate change to the very top of the political agenda.
Jo and everyone at the Hope for the Future team
2018 success stories
In 2018, Hope for the Future impacted 70 elected representatives through our training and support for UK citizens. This included 15 facilitated meetings, 32 events and workshops, and support for over 200 constituents. Below are some of our highlights of 2018.
Two years ago, we had a group come to us feeling frustrated that their MP was refusing to do anything on climate change. We got to work to find out more about Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewekesbury, and find a different way of approaching the issue. We found that he had an interest in solar energy and for over two years we have been working with him on this topic. In mid-December this year, Laurence asked an oral question to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government about changing building regulations so that all houses are self-sufficient in electricity. He finished by pointing out: “that would have the dual benefit of reducing utility costs and saving the planet.” The minister responded calling Laurence Robertson a “persistent and effective advocate for renewable energy and energy self-sufficiency.” We have come a long way since our first meeting in 2016.
Jo Johnson event
In December 2017 at a surgery meeting, three Orpington residents sat before Jo Johnson MP, at the time Minister for Transport. ‘Oh no, not climate change’ wasn’t a promising start to the conversation but by the end he had agreed to attend a climate change event in the constituency; ‘Green Christianity for a Fragile Planet’. On a chilly Friday evening in October this year, 175 people came to hear what Jo Johnson had to say at the event, showing him that climate change is a matter taken seriously by his constituents. You can catch a flavour of the event from the Livecast on the Orpington Baptist Church Facebook page.
Philip Davies school workshop
Philip Davies was one of 5 MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act in 2008. Ten years on, and 18 months after our first meeting with him, he spoke at a community event on fuel poverty and renewable energy in his constituency of Shipley. More recently Philip attended a Hope for the Future workshop at Titus Salt School in Saltaire. The student group was made up of years 10 to 13 and prepared climate campaigns to present to Philip when he arrived. The presentations were fantastic and Philip pulled out a notebook to write down the ideas they had thought of so that he could contact the relevant ministers for further information.
Here’s some photo highlights of the year!
Top Tips for Researching your MP:
Who is your MP?
Go to www.theyworkforyou.com and type your postcode in to the search bar. This will let you know who you MP is.
How have they voted in parliament?
Once you’re on the MP’s profile, click on the top left tab titled “voting record” and this will give you an overview of how they have voted on various issues. The environment is about two thirds of the way down the page!
How can I go a bit deeper?
Quite often their voting record will only reflect the party line (as most MPs rarely rebel) or how long they’ve been in parliament (as newer MPs haven’t had time to build up a significant voting record). So now go to the search bar on the top right and type in words like “climate change” or an issue which is important to you. The more times they’ve mentioned it, the more likely it is this issue really matters to them!
In the spirit of reflecting on 2018, here is Reasons to be Hopeful with a twist. We have chosen six of our favourite news stories of 2018 that give us all reasons to be hopeful.
“UK Government seeks advice on net zero emissions target”
The Government officially asked the CCC to advise them on how to meet the 1.5C goal from the IPCC report and when the UK needs to reach net zero. This means the government will soon have a net zero target in place, following the likes of Norway and France. The CCC will report back to the Government by March 2019. Read here.
“Greener growth could add $26 trillion to world economy by 2030”
A new study found that strong action on climate change could create 65 million jobs, avoid 700 000 premature deaths and raise government revenues by $2.8 trillion. Read more here.
“World’s largest offshore wind farm opens off northwest England”
The world’s largest offshore wind farm project opened. The new windfarm has a 659 megawatt capacity, enough to power nearly 600 000 homes. Read more here.
“Bristol plans to become carbon neutral by 2030”
Bristol Council unanimously backed a commitment to declare a ‘climate emergency’ and become carbon neutral by 2030. Read here.
“85% of the UK supports renewable energy in record-high poll”
The Government’s own polling found that support for renewable energy has reached an all time high. 83% supported offshore wind and 87% supported solar power. Even onshore wind, which has traditionally been seen as more controversial, is supported by 76% of the population. Read here.
“Global wind and solar capacity smashes 1000 gigawatt barrier”
Since 2000, wind and solar capacity has increased 65 fold to 1013GW. Albert Cheung from Bloomberg New Energy Finance was optimistic for the future prospects of renewables, saying “wind and solar are winning the battle for cost supremacy, so this milestone will be just the first of many”. Read more here.
Don’t forget to stay updated with #JuliasJourney. Let’s take a quick look on her thoughts on 2018…
Climate Change Communication:
Part Two: The Importance of framing.
In this second post, we share some information about framing and why it’s important to think about your narrative when discussing climate change.
The way in which climate change is framed can mean that the topic appeals to different audiences. The panel at our recent Green Christianity in a Fragile Planet event discussed climate change in a way that related to Christianity. This is different to what a climate change discussion with a Muslim or Hindu audience would be like, for example. Climate Outreach have produced an excellent guide which provides some good examples of how to do this well with the major religions. However, framing isn’t only something to think about when talking to faith groups. Would you talk to a teenager about climate change in the same way that you would discuss it with the elderly?
There is lots to be looking forward to in 2019 and we are going to give you all a little sneak peak for what to look out for:
#JoyfulJan is coming! After the excitement of the festivities over winter, January can often seem very bleak. But in true HFTF style we aim to give January a joyful spin. Our team will be sharing reasons why they are hopeful and posting it on social media, and we would love to see all of you join in with us. Tell us what you are looking forward to, any climate change aspirations you have. We want to know.
Our researcher Tom has an exciting new series of webinars on climate change policy coming in February. He will be providing updates on the latest developments in the climate change world, as well as giving you the chance to ask questions and find out more. Make sure not to miss out and sign up in the new year.
You've made our year, thank you! ...and 2019 is going to be even better.
From summer bbqs to auctioning the naming rights of 4 pet chickens, to hosting talks and shopping through EasyFundraising, during 2018 our supporters did some incredible things to raise money for Hope for the Future.
During 2019 will you join us as we raise money to combat climate change?
Fundraising can always seem a little daunting at first, but it’s always a lot easier than you think.
You can do (pretty much) anything to raise money. Whether you want to host a bake sale, organise a pub quiz, ask for donations instead of birthday gifts or cook up a storm and host a curry night, fundraising is really quite simple and lots of fun too!
Here are some handy tips -
1. Choose what you’d like to do. If you’re struggling for ideas, get in touch with our fundraiser, Sarah, for some inspiration.
2. Tell our wonderful fundraiser – Sarah – what you’re planning to do. She’ll be able to offer you all the support you need, plus provide any resources you might need.
3. Tell everyone about the brilliant fundraising you’re doing and ask your friends, family and colleagues to donate.
4. Stay motivated – remember that the money you raise is helping to combat climate change.
To find out more about fundraising for Hope for the Future and to discover the incredible impact your donations could make please email Sarah at email@example.com.
Did you know...
A small gift of £5 could enable us to update an online climate resource with the latest statistics, reports and information.
£10 could allow us to research an MP and create a tailored lobbying strategy for their local constituents.
A £50 donation could provide a campaigner with 1:1 tailored advice and training to effectively engage a resistant MP.
From our family to yours, enjoy the festive season! We look forward to working towards a brighter future with you in 2019.
- The hope for the Future Team