This week Canterbury held its first-ever Climate Action Week (23-30 October 2021), which was organised by the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP) in association with the Canterbury Festival and local partners including Canterbury Business Improvement District, Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury City Council, Canterbury Society, the Universities of Kent, Christ Church and Creative Arts, Canterbury College, Westgate Hall amongst others. The 2022 Climate Action Awards was launched during the week which has been designed to celebrate those individuals and businesses who are adopting positive measures in bid to combat Climate Change and inspire others who are beginning their journey towards a Zero Carbon future.
Climate Action Week showed the dedication of the participating groups and organisations who are committed to taking action individually and collectively to achieve a major reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and reach zero carbon by 2045 (at the latest) throughout Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and the villages. They are united in recognising the extreme urgency of taking climate action locally, nationally and internationally if the pledge of the Paris Agreement to maintain global temperatures rise to a minimum of 1.5 degree is to be met.
On Wednesday 27 October Canterbury BID hosted the Green Business Day and met with 50 local businesses and organisations to put a spotlight on climate change and biodiversity, and the business support we need to transition to a net zero economy. We heard from Jon Mills of The Foundry Brew Pub (who also provided our delicious lunch), Miranda Chapman from Pillory Barn (who co-hosted the event with us), and Paula Gillespie from the The Marlowe about the steps they’ve taken to reduce their carbon footprint.
We also heard about business support to help reduce carbon emissions (and help profit margins), such as the Low Carbon grant programme (LoCase) and the efforts of the Biodiversity Network in Canterbury, including a recent project by the Canterbury Society to rejuvenate the Three Cities Garden.
Our commitment as Canterbury BID is to support our business community in reducing emissions by providing training and signposting to much-needed funds. We will also work on city-wide projects with partners, including trade waste and recycling, last mile and first mile delivery and the greening of urban environment to protect biodiversity.
We were also delighted to announce that Canterbury BID will be part of the CCAP delegation to COP26 in Glasgow the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference,
CCAP Chair Dr Carl Wright states: “Our Climate Action Week was designed to engage our district’s 160,000 population directly and inform them on the practical measures they can do as individuals and COP26 now gives us the opportunity to have these conversations on a wider global scale and bring our findings back to Kent. Now is the time to make a difference and to engage the next generation as it is them who will feel the impact of climate change most and it is them who have the most to lose so time is of the essence for us to lay the groundwork right now for a brighter future.”
Lisa Carlson, CEO of Canterbury BID, comments: “We have learnt so much from everyone who participated in Climate Action Week and COP26 is another step in the journey as Canterbury moves towards a Carbon Zero future. We are honoured to be the only delegation from Kent which is attending this global conference and it is testament to how deeply committed we are as a city, and individuals, to this hugely important cause. We want to discover how we can help our local businesses adopt more climate-friendly measures and we look forward to sharing our best learning practises with them upon our return.”
Sarah Wren, Owner of Oscar & Bentleys restaurant,“As an independent business, we know that we have individual responsibility to address climate change within our local area but it can be a daunting task to do solo so it is fantastic to have the support of the likes of Canterbury BID and CCAP to help lead the way. Climate Action Week has been a uniting experience for everyone in Canterbury and we look forward to hearing about more positive outcomes from COP26.”
Further key outcomes of Climate Action Week were defined in the Climate Change Commitment Statement.
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