Boris Johnson turns to YouTube in climate fight
Viral video, social networking and celebrity endorsements are all part of London's latest strategy to engage the public in the fight against climate change.
On Tuesday, The Mayor of London’s climate change adaptation strategy opened for pubic consultation while his climate change mitigation and energy strategy is set to follow soon, currently under consideration by the London Assembly.
In an effort to highlight the importance of these documents to everyday Londoners, City Hall has embraced cyber politics and is using every virtual tool at its disposal to get the public involved.
A raft of celebrities, from well-established national treasures like Alan Titchmarsh and Vivienne Westwood through to rising stars like Talulah Riley and Keeley Hawes, have shared their thoughts about combating climate change in the hope that others will go online to do the same.
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has also published an informal video outlining the scale of the problem and calling on people to take part in the consultation process by leaving comments.
Facebook was famously credited as a vital tool in gathering grassroots support for President Obama’s election campaign and politicians are increasingly turning to the internet as an effective medium to reach their constituents.
A spokesperson for the Mayor told edie that the idea was to reach as many people as possible, including those who did not usually consider climate change and how it might directly impact on their lives.
“This is a ground breaking moment in British politics,” said the Mayor at the launch of the initiative.
“We want to collaborate with Londoners on the necessary measures to adapt [to climate change].”
He said it was the first time that the internet was being used to develop and inform policies on this scale in the UK and urged people to go online to get involved.
“To improve our quality of life, care for our planet and save money from our pockets, we need to adapt our homes and workplaces, moving London to an energy efficient future.
“This has a host of broader benefits including the creation of new jobs and industries.
“This cannot be tackled only with top down solutions from politicians but through a collective response.
“We want to galvanise Londoners into giving us their thoughts and views.”
The website at the root of this online campaign, www.london.gov.uk/climatechange, allows users to make their own comments and share them on social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter and Digg.
As well as looking publishing user generated content, the site also provides facts and tips on core climate change ‘symptoms’ like flooding, drought and heatwaves.
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