Major highlights of the interview with Fiona Dear Head of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition
Prepared by Fatima Omrani
Let’s start with the Great Big Green Week, could you tell us about this campaign in detail?
Great Big Green Week is a massive programme of events – more than 4,500 altogether – taking place all across the UK, from 18 – 26 September.
We’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people getting involved in Great Big Green Week events in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The idea for Great Big Green Week was initially created by The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change, and our members include more than 100 organisations, from the National Trust and the Women’s Institute, to RSPB and WWF.
We have many faith-based member organisations too, such as Islamic Relief and Christian Aid, and we are partnering with the Muslim Charities Forum for this important week.
What are the anticipated objectives of this campaign?
As well as bringing people together to celebrate their own climate-based activities, Great Big Green Week will highlight to politicians the need for urgent action on climate change.
This November, COP26 is taking place in Glasgow and we are looking to the Prime Minister to deliver a clear plan to limit a rise in temperature to stop floods, heatwaves and droughts getting even worse.
This must mean cutting emissions and no new fossil fuel projects so we can limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, protecting nature and increasing financial support and green job opportunities to people on the frontline of the climate crisis at home and abroad.
Climate change is already causing terrible damage across the world, but we know that if we act soon, and work together, we have an opportunity to stop its worst effects.
Who is this event particularly for?
The beauty of Great Big Green Week is that it is for absolutely everyone.
The number of people across the UK who believe that the environment is the most important issue facing the country has reached an all-time high and so taking action and standing up against the awful effects of climate change is the fight that unites us all. With more than 4,500 events taking place up and down the country during Great Big Green Week, there will be something for everyone. It’s a celebration of climate action that hundreds of thousands of us are getting behind.
What activities will the campaign include during the Great Big Great Week?
There will be all sorts of events happening: zero carbon street fairs, vegan and vegetarian cooking demonstrations, nature walks, recycling road shows, bike rides, art and theatre programmes, concerts, special climate-related faith services and so much more. It will be a celebration of climate action, all driven by communities across the country. Details of events are listed at www.greatbiggreenweek.com
You can also follow us on social media to see more:
Do you have specific plans to address climate change? What are they?
We are sending a clear message to the Prime Minister: we care about climate change, and we need you to deliver a plan to stop floods, heatwaves and droughts getting even worse. This means an end to the fossil fuel era so we can limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, protecting nature, and increasing financial support and green job opportunities to people on the frontline of the climate crisis at home. It also means significantly increasing international financial support to communities on the frontline of the climate crisis to adapt to climate change and address loss and damage.
If we act soon enough and work together, we can stop climate change’s worst consequences. Action taken now against climate change can protect forests, animals and oceans; air quality around the world will improve; families at home and abroad can thrive and be safe from the worst impacts of climate change and economies will be strengthened and jobs will become more sustainable and secure
As you see it, can popular events and campaigns affect decision-makers and governments and change public opinion on climate change?
With hundreds of thousands of people across the UK taking part in climate action during Great Big Green Week and more people than ever showing concern about climate change (85% of us say we are concerned about climate change); it’s clear that the voting public in this country want to see action. As hosts of COP26 this year, it’s not only British people, but the eyes of the world that will be on our Prime Minister to show leadership on tackling climate change.
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should listen to the public and show leadership on climate change. Boris Johnson has already responded with a film supporting the Great Big Green Week, now he and Rishi Sunak need to lead by example when making decisions about the UK.
As PM of the host country of COP26, Boris Johnson needs to lead the world to take bold action to stop the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
Do you have any other similar activities soon?
The Climate Coalition and its members work all through the year to encourage individuals, communities, organisations, and politicians to come together and take action on climate change.
After Great Big Green Week, we will be working at COP26 to ensure political decision-makers take the action that’s needed, in the UK and abroad.
And in February 2022, our annual Show the Love campaign will provide an opportunity for people across the UK to come back together in their communities and show their love for everything we care about and want to protect from the worst impacts of the climate crisis.