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How can we spread 'carbon literacy' in Sheffield’s universities and beyond?

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Location

Lecture Theatre 5, Diamond Building

University of Sheffield

32 Leavygreave Rd

Sheffield

S3 7RD

United Kingdom

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Event description
An introduction to Manchester’s Carbon Literacy Project, followed by a public discussion about the way forward in Sheffield. Open to all.

About this Event

Speaker and panellists:

Our lead speaker is Rachel Dunk, Principal Lecturer in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2013, she has been working with colleagues to deliver ‘Carbon Literacy’ training, and to train trainers, across Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester City Council. She will share with us their progress so far and then discussion will be opened up to the panel and the floor. We are pleased to have a panel representing the city’s leading education institutions, and the City Council itself, which declared a climate emergency in February of this year.

Panel:

  • Cllr Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, Sheffield City Council.
  • Dr Rachael Rothman, Associate Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Academic Lead for Sustainability, University of Sheffield.
  • Mark Swales, Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, Sheffield Hallam University.

The rationale for this event:

Sheffield City Council has now declared a climate emergency, and both universities have committed themselves to sustainability strategies. The challenge now is for them to work together, alongside others in the city, to implement an action plan that will effectively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the target date. Achieving this complex task will require widespread public support and action. But politicians concerned about climate change say that voters rarely ask them to prioritise it. And even when people say they are concerned about climate change, there is no guarantee they will change their behaviour!

A number of approaches to citizen engagement and education are being trialled across the world. The Carbon Literacy Project in Manchester is a pioneering project focused on education. Its ambition is to provide one day of climate change awareness training for every citizen. Rather than be too prescriptive, it proposes a standard informational content that can be delivered in myriad ways, adapted to the context and needs of the organisation, industry or community. Further information can be found here: https://carbonliteracy.com/

This event has been organised by the Climate Communications Hub, a working group of the Carbon Neutral University Network, in partnership with Sheffield Climate Alliance. Our basic aim is to get people talking about the climate crisis and how to resolve it. We think that many of those conversations can be informal but, to achieve widespread change, more formal education may also be necessary. Ultimately, we believe that systemic change is needed to bring about new norms and that Higher and Further Education institutions will play a key role in enabling that transformation, as well as businesses, schools, faith groups, etc. More about our approach can be found in our Zero Carbon University guide which can be downloaded free here: https://www.carbonneutraluniversity.org/zero-carbon-university-guide.html.

Responses to MMU’s student facing programme (Responsible Futures report 2018):

• “It was incredible to visit an institution where there is such wide-spread awareness of a training and learning opportunity such as Carbon Literacy.” NUS.

• “Programmes such as the carbon literacy training is increasing student and staff knowledge and awareness of the impact carbon is having on the environment.” Student auditor.

• “Need to increase capacity to deliver the carbon literacy training as we have seen a definite interest in that.” Staff interview.

Feedback on Carbon Literacy training within the city:

• “Some of the most important training I’ve ever done… I thought I knew about climate change, carbon reduction, and sustainability, I thought we were doing our bit, and then I went on a Carbon Literacy course. One day out of a busy diary, but boy did it make a massive difference. I was wrong on so many things that I thought I knew about.” Alice Webb, Director of BBC North.

• “Jacobs is monitoring staff pledges and has noted significant behavioural changes… [ Carbon Literacy training was] a great opportunity to embed sustainability into work, whether this was through design, procurement or strategic choice.” Jacobs, Manchester – Silver CLO.

Press:

Manchester Metropolitan trains world’s first Carbon Literate Engineering students: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/story/?id=9097

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Date and Time

Location

Lecture Theatre 5, Diamond Building

University of Sheffield

32 Leavygreave Rd

Sheffield

S3 7RD

United Kingdom

View Map

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