There have been over 800 responses to the local climate change survey.
- The responses were submitted by residents and local businesses during spring 2021
- Initial analysis of results now shows that people in Harrogate District are very concerned about climate change
- And are willing to be part of a collective effort to reduce carbon emissions
The survey was created jointly by Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and Harrogate Borough Council, who are already acting upon key findings.
The survey represents the local voices and all responses were anonymous.
Climate change is already happening in Harrogate District, with one resident saying:
Every year I see more extremes in weather and I live in the countryside so understand how this is impacting wildlife and the ability of the farming community to carry out its work.
It was clear that local people understand we cannot ignore climate change, with another resident saying:
We need action, not surveys.
Professional market research consultant Patrick Corr who offered his input and expertise pro bono as a volunteer to Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition said:
The most important finding in this research is that 84% of residents think we need to take action immediately to tackle climate change, not in the next 12 months or two years but now. This shows views in Harrogate are similar to those across the UK, because in the recent UN People’s Climate vote 81% believe “climate change is an emergency”. As one local resident put it, “Our house is on fire and the clock is ticking.
The other key finding is that residents recognise they have a part to play in reducing carbon emissions but do not want to feel they are acting alone, they want their actions to be matched and supported by central and local government.
Action being taken in response by HDCCC
Kirsty Hallett, spokesperson for Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, said:
It is clear from the survey results that many people want to take action which will limit climate change in their homes and workplaces but they do not always know what to do for the best.
We are planning a Climate Action Festival for October 2021 that will help local people by raising awareness of some practical solutions which can reduce carbon emissions from energy, transport and land-use.
To express an interest in exhibiting or speaking at the Climate Action Festival please visit https://www.hdccc.info/post/how-to-exhibit-or-speak-at-first-climate-action-festival-caf%C3%A9
Myfanwy Wolf, Chair of the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition Energy Sub-group said:
It was clear from the survey that many of our local businesses do not yet know their carbon footprint or how they can access support to reduce this so our coalition sub-groups will be providing pointers via the Climate Action Festival, our website, blog (www.hdccc.info/blog) and Linkedin page .
For example, new tax incentives can help make the business case for investment in solar panels, energy efficient lighting and energy monitoring systems
For more information please look at our blog post https://www.hdccc.info/post/new-financial-benefits-for-going-green or Linkedin.
Action being taken by HBC
Cllr Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council Cabinet Member for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability, said:
Even before the survey results came out, Harrogate Borough Council was committed to reviewing our current Carbon Reduction Plan and ensuring it will put council operations and the district on track to reach net zero emissions by 2038. This cross-cutting data-driven approach is currently being updated by officers and will be published later in the year.
Taken at face value, the findings from this research are very encouraging, suggesting that residents in the Harrogate District are both concerned and engaged by the threat of climate change and willing to be part of a collective effort to reduce carbon emissions. Many say they would consider making changes to their lifestyle – for example over half of residents say they would consider installing renewable sources of energy such as solar panels or ground/air source heat pumps. However, only a few were planning to do so in the next 12 months. Whether more act on their good intentions will be shaped by many factors including the availability of grants, the likely costs, the level of disruption to their home and to what extent they feel their personal efforts are part of a wider collective effort.
Kirsty Hallett said:
The Harrogate District Climate Action Festival will be only one step in helping local people to gain further understanding of how overcoming perceived barriers to action can be overcome. A series of focus groups and work to highlight the multiple benefits of limiting climate change on our communities, environment and biodiversity will follow.
Cllr Phil Ireland said:
When the survey results have been fully analysed in due course they will be made available online as are all of Harrogate Borough Council’s consultation outcomes.
For more information Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition please firstname.lastname@example.org
The Climate Action Festival please visit https://www.hdccc.info/post/how-to-exhibit-or-speak-at-first-climate-action-festival-caf%C3%A9