Personal Action

We are all aware of the present impact and future consequences of climate change but may be unsure of how we can personally engage in this issue. It is suggested that every individual has a personal responsibility:

  1. To influence our politicians to achieve carbon zero by 2050, 
  2. To influence business by our spending and investing, and
  3. To take persona action to reduce our carbon footprint.
Please read further to see the help we need to influence our national and local politicians to shift their focus from growth at any cost to achieving a meaninful lifestyle within the limits of our natural and cultural resources. This revolutionary approach to Economics is explained by Kate Raworth, ‘Doughnut Ecomonics.


1. Political Pressure

Please contact your repersentatives so that they are aware that their actions to protect the environment = Votes. The impact you can make here is very important.

Greta Thurnborg Publishes THE CLIMATE BOOK. The science concerning the future impact of climate change is clear; what is missing is the political action to address this.

AL Gore addresses the World Economic Forum, Davos: We have all the proven technology to get to 2030 targets and have planned technologies to get to 2050. But Emissions are still going up. What is missing is the political will to address this. See his address to the World economic Forum.

‘Political Will’ means action by all of us – the electorate!

Please inform your MP if you agree that leadership from the top is needed for more government action to address climate change. MPs are aware of what needs to be done but may need a nudge to raise this to the top of the agenda. Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore has produced a 340 page report calling for action in many government departments. The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee 1st Report of Session 2022–23, published 12 October 2022 is entitled “In Our Hands: Behaviour Change for Climate and Environmental Goals’. The Oxfordshire based ‘Bioabundance’ website lists 11 topics to raise with your MP.

What is missing is the leadership from 10 Downing Street to make this happen. All MPs need to know that their constituents feel that not enough is being done to protect the environment for our children and grandchildren. MPs must use their persuasive powers to raise this high enough up the political agenda for action to be driven forward by leadership from the top. We are all aware from the news items that the climate is getting rougher. Scientists tell us we can do a lot to reduce the impact. Please tell your MP you care about this. You can find your MP here. Please include your name and postcode and that you are a constituent. Let’s make this happen!

This is really important! Please  Click here for a draft letter to your MP suggesting topics; and how to contact your representatives.

2. Influence Business

How and what do you buy? What is the environmental impact of your purchase? Do you need it? Buy second hand? Re-use? Avoid products with too much packaging. Business respond to feedback from customers. Take every opportunity to influence the businesses you use to become sustainable with your ourchases and comments.

Tortoise data shows that FTSE 100 companies overall

  • aren’t cutting their emissions fast enough;
  • are on a pathway which if followed by the rest of the world would lead to a catastrophic 2.8 degrees celsius of warming; 
  • are on average emitting more from their own operations year-on-year.
Where and how do you work? Work with your employer to raise awareness of the environmental impact of your work and what can be done to reduce this. You need to consider the lifecycle impact from production, to use, to disposal.

Where and how can you invest your money? Many businesses have realised the need to protect the environment; some just talk about it witout doing much. Such unsubstantiated claims are known as ‘Greenwash’. Some are making significant progress. The Tortiose Responsibility100 Index seeks to differentiate between business which talk the talk and those who walk the walk. There are other sites which recommend ethical and green investment including Climate Action Oxfordshire and Abundance.

Beware Greenwash

The Tortoise online New Agency has recently published a podcast on Greenwash and the need for legislation to define and police E.S.G (Environment, Social and Governance). The link to this is here if you can spare 40 minutes to listen to it. You will have to give them your email to be allowed in. This is summarised as follows:

Environmental claims made by Investment Banks and Corporations are marketing spin rather than substance. This is misleading the public and delaying government reforms. There is a disconnect, between the aspirations and the propaganda and pledges and actual action and outcomes. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are beginning stepping up to hold companies to their word but the algorithms to measure ESG are questionable. Urgent government action is needed to define and police ESG. We need legislation now to confront climate change, to fight it.

You can report misleading claims to the Competition and Markets Authority. In July the CMA launched an investigation into three fashion brands to scrutinise their green claims. In addition, the CMA published the Green Claims Code to help businesses understand how to communicate their green credentials while not misleading people. In the food and drink sector, the Environment Agency launched a project in 2021 to tackle greenwashing, establishing standardised metrics to measure environmental performance.  Defra, in partnership with its arm’s length bodies, publish a broad range of statistics and data on the environment, food, farming and biosecurity. The Government has created a Green Technical Advisory Group to provide independent advice on market, regulatory and scientific consideration as part of the Government’s strategy paper ‘Greening Finance: A Roadmap to Sustainable Investing’. The Government is also requiring asset managers, regulated asset owners and listed companies to publish transition plans that consider the government’s net zero commitment or provide an explanation if they have not done so. To get in touch with the Environmental Audit Committee, you should email

3. Reduce our Carbon Footprint

This can be achieved by a multitude of helpful actions. Climate Action Oxfordshire, a new website launched by the County Council on 11 July, has lots of detailed ideas for practical things that you can do. Each one is graded on effort, impact, cost and financial savings. Some are free and many will save you money. Together, small changes add up to big action.

Short films to save energy in your home

Click on the link and then on the film titles. Energy Saving Homes Bite-Size Films from Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford A series of 2-3-minute films about how to save energy in your home – with examples from real people.

Film Titles:

Low-cost energy saving measures; Insulating your walls, loft and floor; Air source heat pumps; Solar panels and storage; Double or triple glazing and ventilation; Help with finance; Opportunities for contractors.

Made by Energy Saving Homes, a project of Communities for a Zero Carbon Oxford. Funded by the Low Carbon Hub and Oxford City Council.

GreenpeaceGuide to a Greener Life describes 101small ways to help.

Over the coming months we’ll cover how you can reduce your carbon footprint, and potentially save money, with topics covering Homes, Transport, Food, Clothing. We’re starting with Loft Insulation and Draught Proofing your home.

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