Released: 4 June 2019
A major online campaign to encourage us all to play a part in reducing the impact of climate change is being launched by the County Council.
On World Environment Day (5 June 2019), the West Sussex Climate Pledge asks everyone in the county to commit to make small changes in key areas:
• Make low carbon journeys – reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
• Save water and energy – conserving the resources around us and opting for renewable energy sources where possible.
• Pass on plastic – avoiding single-use plastics and recycle wherever possible.
• Shop local – buying local produce, from local stores, to support the economy and cut down on the distance goods are transported.
• Fight against food waste – avoiding the time and energy it takes to produce food that is then wasted and the cost and environmental impact of its disposal.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “All around us our planet is changing, and we simply must act now to make changes to the way we live if we want our habitat to survive for generations to come.
“There is a growing urgency to take action and all over the county we already have some amazing groups of people doing their bit. But many people may not know where to start or whether their actions will even make a difference. We hope by providing some simple first steps and sharing ideas it will encourage people to think about the effect they are having on the environment and how they can make changes for the better.”
People are being asked to pledge their support online and commit to making a series of simple changes to their everyday lives.
People will also be asked to sign up to a regular e-newsletter which will contain tips and advice around the five key areas and how they can fulfil their pledge.
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of the County Council, said: “We all need to act carefully and responsibly to ensure there are enough resources for today and tomorrow. Without a doubt it is imperative for us all to take action now and I can’t stress enough the importance of this and the unthinkable consequences of doing nothing.
“With the world’s population now around 7.7 billion people, all reliant on our one planet earth, we can all make a difference by acting together and doing everything possible to reduce the damage we are causing to our planet.
“As a County Council we are working hard to try to become carbon neutral and we’ve already significantly cut our carbon emissions by making our buildings more energy efficient. We’ve reduced our reliance on fossil fuels by investing in capturing renewable solar energy on schools, offices, fire stations and other buildings as well as at our solar farms.
“But there is more to do. Over the next four years we are planning a further £35m investment in low carbon energy projects alone and through this campaign we hope to encourage a movement in West Sussex towards more sustainable living.
“It may be hard for some but we all have to change the way we live by taking action. The consequences of not taking action are really scary and that is why I am making a plea for everyone to take action now.
“Please help us to achieve this by making your West Sussex Climate Pledge online and encouraging friends and family to join in and do the same. There are over 850,000 people living in West Sussex. If we all work together now we can collectively make a huge difference.”
Deborah added: “For many people the pledge will contain things they are already doing, and if that’s the case then we thank you. What we would ask is that you help us to spread the word to others to stress the importance of everyone acting together.
“After making your online pledge, I would encourage you to sign-up for our newsletter to receive regular updates, or join our online forum group on Facebook where you can ask questions and share your own ideas. You can also follow us on our new pledge Twitter account.
“Everyone has a part to play and we need your help if we are to make a difference. If we all work together to make small changes then together we can have an enormous impact.”
People can find out more and make their pledge by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/maketheclimatepledge, searching for the Facebook group ‘WS Climate Pledge’, searching for #WSClimatePledge or following @WSClimatePledge on Twitter.