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UNA Harrogate: Post-pandemic Visions

Lock-down didn’t stop UNA Harrogate from continuing our quest to engage local people on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and especially climate change.

On 16 April, we hosted on online Zoom meeting and invited other local environmental groups, including Zero Carbon Harrogate, Harrogate Climate Coalition and Energy Oasis (a local business offering zero-carbon solutions). It was a very simple meeting attended by sixteen people and we each shared our most optimistic and hopeful vision for life after Coronavirus. We noticed what inspired us all the most and shared these insights. It was a moving and powerful experience.

To give you a flavour of what was offered into this vision, the following list will give you some idea:

- People appreciating cleaner air and wanting to keep it that way

- Businesses discovering that home-working can actually work and save money and CO2 at the same time

- Massive opportunities to kick-start the economy by starting energy-saving projects. Insights from the team at Energy Oasis were particularly helpful, especially the realisation that these projects don’t even cost money (net savings) and really help climate change

- Hope that the increase in packaging we’re seeing at the moment will not continue when things reach a new normal

- Lessons can be learned from the urgent action taken for the pandemic and how we need to “up the game” for climate change.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. We all left inspired and received several requests to have more online meetings. We are planning some panel interviews on particular topics such as reducing energy in buildings and opportunities for transformation in transport. Watch this space.


By Clive Wilson