Campaigning for Change

While we all need to make changes at an individual level, we also need our governments – both local and national – to bring about the structural and policy changes needed for a low-carbon future.

It is they who have the power, and responsibility, to bring about far-reaching changes – from replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, to investing in green technology and decarbonising industry. The decisions they take about the environment, roads, public transport, waste and recycling, air quality and energy efficient homes will determine our future.

The benefits of taking action on the climate go beyond tackling climate change. Steps to reduce carbon emissions will also have a positive impact on other local issues, like improving air quality and public health, creating sustainable jobs and reducing inequality. 

And although we cannot bring about these changes as individuals, there are things we can do to press governments to act.

  1. Use your vote

Possibly the most important thing you can do to help tackle the climate emergency is to vote. Both local and national elections are an opportunity to vote for someone who is representative of you and your views, and will make the environment a top priority. Vote for those candidates who support meaningful climate policies.

  1. Engage with your local representatives

Let your MP, regional Mayor and local councillors – whatever party they belong to – know your views. They need to know there is public support for policies that will bring about rapid carbon reductions, as this gives them a mandate to take decisive action. This is true whatever their current stance on these issues – messages in support of good climate policies are as valuable as ones that criticise insufficient action.

Meeting local politicians might sound intimidating. Hope for the Future is a Sheffield-based climate charity who can help you do this. They offer free training and support to give you the skills and confidence to communicate effectively with your representatives.
Click here for details of their next free online training session.

3. Back a local campaign

Another way to let governments know we want change is to support campaigns on specific issues that affect our region and our communities. You can add your voice in various ways, from signing a petition or sending an email, to joining a protest march. You can find details of current local campaigns here:

4. Join a campaign group

There are many local people already joining together to campaign on the many different issues that affect the climate and nature. From improving public transport, providing better infrastructure for active travel, and campaigning for clean air, to increasing access to nature, improving food systems, and reducing waste – there’s a group pressing for change. If you want to get more involved with the fight against climate change, you can find out more about climate and nature campaign groups in South Yorkshire here: