Climate change is already affecting people here in the UK and across the globe. Building a sustainable future requires action from each and every one of us, but the response of our political leaders will be crucial in generating the momentum for change. Over the past three years Hope for the Future has been working to equip communities, campaigners and groups across the country to communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians. Our ground breaking research has enabled us to develop an approach to effectively engage local politicians which has proved transformative. Our approaches hinges on three key principles;
1. Climate change is not an easy issue to talk about. It is often perceived as distant, overwhelming and confusing. Communicating climate change with politicians requires us to understand the barriers to action and respect the difficulties in engagement.
2. Combating climate change requires the response of politicians from across the political spectrum. Therefore the language we use to describe both climate change and its solutions must resonate with people of many varying political persuasions. Ultimately, our language must speak to the values of those we seek to engage.
3. Effective climate campaigning must be rooted in strong relationships. It is only through building the trust of those with whom we disagree that we are able to have the kind of robust conversations that would not otherwise have been possible, leading to transformed attitudes and tangible action.
Our vision is to see politicians of all political persuasions joining together with each other and communities across the UK to take decisive action on climate change.
Top row, left to right: Meeting with Conservative MP for Cheltenham Alex Chalk; Preparing for meeting with Conservative MP for South West Surrey and Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt; Meeting with Labour MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton;
Bottom row, left to right: Meeting with Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam and former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg; Meeting with former Labour leader and first Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband; Meeting with Labour MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery.