Two events in November show local commitment to addressing climate change.

Local environmental group, Transition MK, are celebrating two successful events which aimed to raise local people’s awareness of climate change and encourage residents of Milton Keynes to take action to show their support for more sustainable living.

The first event, a talk and Q&A by leading Climate Change communications expert and author George Marshall, attracted around 60 people to hear how we can better talk about this important issue, and how best to support people to make sustainable and practical changes to reduce their carbon footprint.

Hilarie Bowman of Transition MK group said:

George Marshall gave me a fresh view and new pointers for reaching the people still unmoved by the plight of the polar bears.

This was followed up with the MK Climate Change Gathering on 28th November, which was supported by the MK Community Foundation and attended by representatives from local groups, including Citizens:mk, MK Peace and Justice Network and Milton Keynes Quakers, and Wolverton Community Energy.

Over 50 people joined Transition MK in Campbell Park to show support on tackling climate change and pledge individual actions they would take to reduce their carbon footprint. Pledges included eating less meat, growing their own food, using ‘greener’ transport and taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Cllr Pete Marland, who joined the event, pledged to: “to make MK the greenest city in the UK by 2050”!

Michael Sheppard of Transition MK said:

The response on the pledge cards demonstrate that large numbers of people in Milton Keynes are prepared to help in tackling climate change by making changes in their everyday lives. I think it’s important that our political leaders realise this.

These pledges, along with others collected from the wider MK community were then shared with local MPs, asking them to put climate change much higher on the political agenda; particularly before the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) which began in Paris on 30th November. MPs were also asked for a reversal of the recent decision to abolish support for wind, solar and biomass energy. The pledges, 139 in total, were delivered to the MPs’ office on a bike-trailer, kindly provided by Cycle Saviours on Monday 30th November.

David Miller of Transition MK said:

I’ve been impressed by the pledges made by people who I wouldn’t have expected to respond, and by the range of commitments they have agreed to make. It makes me more optimistic that we really can pull together to address climate change.

The response from Ian Stewart and Mark Lancaster following the delivery of the pledges was:

Thank you to Transition MK for handing in the Climate Change Pledge Cards. We will take the thoughts and concerns of Transition MK to the PM and relevant Ministers. We both hope that the Climate Change Conference in Paris this week will produce a programme that all Governments will take away and deliver on.

For more information on the work of Transition MK please visit their website: or find us on social media: Twitter: @TransitionMK or search: #climatechangeMK

*Photos courtesy of R.R. Yarde Photography.