Residents, organisations and businesses across Reading are being encouraged to get involved in action to tackle climate change by taking part in Reading Climate Festival, a week of free online events from 9th to 15th November designed to inspire positive action on climate change. The centre-piece of the Festival will be the launch on 10th November of a new Reading Climate Emergency Strategy, developed by the Reading Climate Change Partnership with input from the wider community, setting out our plans to make Reading a net zero carbon borough by 2030.
The Festival programme is aimed at helping residents, businesses, schools and community groups find out how to live more sustainably, make changes that will contribute towards our goal and gain a better understanding of how what we do locally makes a difference.
The online Festival starts on Monday 9th November with a programme that includes an exploration of the rivers of Reading and a workshop on how to identify simple steps to a sustainable life. Tuesday’s programme includes the official launch of the Climate Emergency Strategy with live presentations from 3pm from the co-chairs of the Climate Change Partnership, the Leader of the Council and senior representatives from the University of Reading and the business community. Events through the remainder of the week include a guided video tour of Reading’s materials recovery facility, virtual tree walks and presentations on a multitude of topics from how to access funding for renewable energy installations to how your diet impacts climate change. The University of Reading will be running its annual Green Week in co-operation with Reading Climate Festival, and Reading’s schools will be invited to participate via the Youth Climate Summit.
The programme already comprises of over 40 online events, with something for everyone young and old; additional events will continue to be added throughout October and anyone who wishes to contribute is invited to contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org. The full schedule of events can be found here >
Launching the Festival, Tracey Rawling Church, co-chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership said “The Reading Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan was developed by the town, for the town, with input from anybody who wished to contribute. We’ve taken a similar approach with Reading Climate Festival, inviting the many groups and organisations working on climate change and other environmental issues to share their expertise and enthusiasm. Our many volunteers and supporters have worked tirelessly over the past year to develop a credible plan in response to the Climate Emergency and through the festival we want to inspire everybody who lives, works or studies in Reading to join the Reading Climate Action Network and help us make it a reality.”
As part of its commitment to delivering the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy, Reading Borough Council will simultaneously be publishing a new corporate Carbon Plan, setting out its plans to work towards becoming a net zero carbon council by 2030.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “The Council recognises the importance of leading by example in taking action on climate change. We have already reduced our carbon footprint by 63% and our new corporate Carbon Plan will set out how we will go further over the next five years. But the Climate Emergency is everybody’s responsibility and no one organisation can deliver a net zero carbon Reading on its own.”
“Reading Climate Festival is an opportunity to be inspired to build a cleaner, greener, fairer town. I would urge residents, communities, businesses and organisations to get involved: find a session, performance or presentation you’re interested in and make the commitment to make one change at a time.”
The Reading Climate Change Partnership is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder group including representatives from business, community groups and statutory authorities, originally established in 2008 as part of the Reading Local Strategic Partnership. The Council is an active partner in RCCP.
Reading Climate Festival is supported by Reading Place of Culture – a partnership project between Reading Borough Council, Reading University and Reading UK CIC – through Reading Culture Live.