Pollution

Somerset council teaches every staff member about climate change

Somerset West and Taunton Council has become one of the first local authorities in the UK to train all its 600+ staff in climate change.

As part of efforts to address the climate emergency, the council rolled out climate change training to all councillors and employees, including everyone from human resources staff and IT professionals to gardeners and carpenters.

Providing climate change training to all employees was identified as a necessary step to achieving the authority’s goal of reaching net zero emissions for the whole area administered by the council by 2030.

Other policies outlined in the council’s Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience Action Plan include investing in their own renewable energy, improving electric car charging infrastructure and building low-carbon housing.

The training, provided by a specialist climate change training company, was delivered virtually over 12 sessions in April. 

The interactive workshops covered the climate change impacts already happening, what is causing climate change, how bad things may get in the future and what everyone can do to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Commenting, Somerset West and Taunton Council’s Assistant Director of Climate Change, Chris Hall said: “The council recognised the importance of providing climate literacy training to its employees and members as a means of encouraging behaviour change in all that we do.

“Each person representing the council has the ability to influence the many small actions that lead to our goal of carbon neutrality.

“The training is our starting point to ensure that our diverse workforce has a baseline understanding of what climate change means for us locally, as well as the wider national and international impacts. 

“The training has been well received. Due to the method of presentation, people were engaged with the subject from the outset and despite a broad spectrum of understanding across the workforce, it appealed to all knowledge levels.”

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