How we're supporting people in Bristol to take action around climate change.
Our annual Quality of Life survey shows that:
- 87% of Bristol residents are worried about climate change
- many people are already taking actions to reduce their emissions
Many people support changes to the city which would help reduce carbon emissions, such as better public transport
The One City Climate Strategy shows the significant change needed to reach net zero carbon emissions.
To make this change happen, we need everyone in Bristol to play their part to:
- reduce carbon emissions
- reduce environmental impact
- help jobs and prosperity
- reduce inequality
People should be connected and feel empowered and able to influence the future of the city.
62% of emissions are linked to individual behaviours such as:
- eating meat
- heating homes
Given the current climate and ecological emergencies, we need both system change and individual action.
System change is action by government and big business business which makes it easier for everyone to live low carbon lives, for example:
- providing separate cycle paths so more people can walk or cycle
- packaging products in less plastic
- building wind farms so that there is more renewable energy in the national electricity grid
Individual actions include leaving the car at home and walking or cycling instead or installing loft insulation at home.
Bristol City Council and One City Partners are focusing on leading by example. First, we're asking the government to make changes that help people live low carbon lifestyles and run low carbon businesses.
You can find examples of our work at a system level on our heat and buildings, public services and electricity climate action page.
The Grantham Institute have put together the most comprehensive guide describing which behaviours to focus on.
How we can make fair changes
After system change, the next most important thing we need to focus on is the 500,000 Bristol residents.
To do this in a fair and just way we need to:
- engage with those with the biggest environmental impact and those who are most able to do something about it
- reduce the impact of climate change on those least able to deal with it, such as those who are ill, vulnerable or disabled
- make sure the economic and social benefits of climate action are shared more fairly than they have been to date
- listen, recognise and amplify the voices and stories of those belonging to excluded and marginalised groups and communities, who have been taking action on climate and nature
What we've done so far
Within the council
We've made climate awareness training mandatory for all our councillors and employees. We also offered:
- tailored climate awareness training and workshops to all teams
- ecological awareness training and more detailed training courses for professionals, including buying sustainably
We're leading the Communication and Engagement area of the One City climate strategy on behalf of the city. We worked together with 20 partners to create a strategy to make sure future climate and nature engagement is more joined up, more effective and more inclusive.
- launched the Bristol Climate Hub website in 2020, which offers information, inspiration and actions people can take to help the environment
- created a series of 30 short Climate Action Story videos telling the stories of a diverse range of Bristolians doing things they enjoy which are also good for the climate. We have used these films in a series of social media campaigns, and shown them on a loop on big screens in Millennium Square during COP26 and again in summer 2022. They were also shown on a loop in the M Shed museum as part of their Think Local Act Global exhibition for 3 months.
- worked with 6 community groups to co-create 6 Community Climate Action Plans as phase 1 of a National Lottery funded project, in partnership with Bristol Green Capital Partnership (you can find live content at #CommunityClimateAction
- run a series of campaigns on social media using #BristolClimateAction
- run the Think Global Act Bristol exhibition at the M Shed, which:
- explored environmental issues affecting people
- presented perspectives from a wide range of local people
- funded a Mock COP with Bristol A Level students for COP26
- funded a Citizens' Assembly, which:
- made recommendations on how to reduce emissions from the heating of Bristol homes
- showed that people want to see systemic change to reduce emissions
- launched the One City Climate Action and Nature Recovery branding to show the breadth and scale of action that community groups, organisations and businesses across the city take to reduce emissions and help nature recover
How we've helped community groups
We also gave out £95k in grants to community groups to:
- take action for climate and nature, especially groups new to climate action and who have been excluded from, or ignored by, wider climate and nature sectors
- take action that benefited the climate but was done for other reasons such as employment, health, saving money and so on
What we're doing in the future
We'll work with Bristol Green Capital Partnership on phase 2 of the £2.5 million National Lottery funded Bristol Community Climate Action project, including:
- supporting 6 communities to put their Climate Action Plans into action
- sharing learnings from the plans of those 6 communities with 12 new communities wanting to put their own plans into action
- supporting and working with a new Community Leadership Panel on Climate and Just Transition
- working collaboratively with the 6 communities on the community-led vision for sustainable, integrated, accessible low carbon transport in Bristol, a transport champion for Bristol's Community of Disabled people and on pilot low traffic streets projects
We'll also deliver the One City Climate Communications and Engagement strategy in partnership with One City and other partners. This will include putting in place an action plan of climate and nature engagement activity.