Benn unveils climate action campaign

A new advertising campaign aimed at inspiring people to make small changes to cut their impact on climate change was launched by government this week.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn launched the Act on CO2 campaign in the wake of Sunday’s Live Earth concert spectacular to persuade people to do more.

He said: “We have a really big challenge: a small planet, a growing population, and finite resources. We need to ensure that we only take out what we can put back in.

“Events like Live Earth can help bring people together to encourage them to take action locally, nationally and internationally and with more than 40 percent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions coming from people’s homes and travel, inspiring people to act is increasingly urgent.

“I hope the Act on CO2 campaign will help all of us to understand our impact on the climate and identify simple ways that we can make a difference.”

The campaign focuses on small scale changes such as switching to low energy light bulbs, unplugging electronic chargers, considering transport means and using less water.

A national TV campaign began on Monday during Coronation Street and will last through the summer.

It shows people doing everyday CO2-producing activities leaving black, sticky tar-like footprints behind them.

A press campaign is due to start tomorrow and last until the end of October.

Research commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows there is room for improvement.

While 94% of British people think the world’s climate is changing, 66% say they are personally taking action to limit climate change.

When asked what action they could take to limit climate change, less than half (43%) mentioned cutting electricity use, just 14% reducing energy for heating and only six per cent using less water.

Last month Defra launched an online CO2 calculator to enable people to work out their carbon footprint. It is available at

David Gibbs

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