The climate emergency and people’s action to tackle it were the focus of Calderdale Council’s latest Vision2024 social media ‘takeover’ week (9 to 15 September).
Nearly 120 climate emergency messages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram reached over 127,000 people, and 3,550 residents, organisations and community groups got involved by posting, commenting, sharing and liking.
Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“Climate change has many negative impacts on our environment and our communities, such as an increased chance of extreme weather events. Having experienced severe flooding impacts numerous times in Calderdale, we know more than most how serious the threat of climate change is, which is why we declared a climate emergency in January 2019. We ran a social media takeover week to emphasise how important it is for everyone to step up their action to reduce climate change and protect Calderdale’s distinctive environment.
“We had an amazing response – thank you to everyone who took the opportunity to share what you’re doing to help save our planet and to call for further funding and resources nationally. It was great to see lots of examples of how even the smallest and simplest changes can make a massive difference. One of the things my family and I are doing is getting out on our bikes and walking more – reducing our reliance on cars and having a great time in Calderdale’s countryside.”
The Council posted messages about its ongoing efforts to tackle climate change, and encouraged others to do the same using the hashtag #ClimateEmergency. A huge range of people and organisations got involved. Just some of the examples of actions tweeted included:
- The Victoria Theatre will no longer sell or allow distracting, single-use plastic flashing toys at the panto. Instead, higher-quality toys such as hand puppets will be available.
- The Environment Agency talked to pupils and parents at local schools about the dangers of flash flooding and how to be prepared and resilient.
- Yorkshire Water is helping local homes to save water by fitting free water saving devices though the ‘Fit2Save’ project.
- Small lifestyle changes by residents included swapping shower gel and hand wash for bars of soap and solid shampoos / conditioners; buying second-hand and upcycling; and growing their own food.
Protecting the environment is a key part of the Vision2024 for Calderdale, and #ClimateEmergency was the latest in a series of Council social media takeover weeks – previous ones focused on the Vision themes of distinctiveness, kindness, resilience, talent and enterprise.
#ClimateEmergency week was the first time the Council had used Instagram for a takeover, with the aim of reaching younger people. Polls were posted on Instagram stories, encouraging people to interact with posts and share content, and campaign imagery was posted on the Council’s main Instagram feed.
Although the takeover week has finished, the Council continues to circulate key messages via the hashtag #ClimateEmergency and encourages people to do the same.
The Council has also launched a new climate emergency web page to explain what a failure to act on climate change will look like, and to explore some of things it is doing to tackle this important issue. For example, it is aiming to reduce carbon emissions, protect wildlife habitats and tackle the large amounts of plastic blighting our beautiful countryside. Its #LetsClearTheAir campaign to reduce air pollution is another important way to address the climate emergency.
In the year 2024 Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision. Protecting the local environment supports the Vision’s key themes of distinctiveness and resilience, by helping to ensure that Calderdale remains an outstanding place for generations to come.