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Carbon Literacy for… “How Many Million??”

July 2014 by Ciaran McAuley

On the 7th July, The Carbon Literacy Project was the subject of a presentation to delegates from the Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Wuhan and Quingdao, each city representing a population of over 8 million. The city delegates were in Manchester as part of the UK-China Smart Green Cities project, as part of which Manchester City Council leads a UK knowledge-sharing initiative. The Chinese delegation consisted of local government officers, Chinese NGO staffs, a Beijing UK embassy representative, as well as a party of delegates from China Digital.

Project co-directors Dave Coleman and Phil Korbel made a short presentation to the delegation, explaining the key concepts of Carbon Literacy, and outlining the vision and ambition of the Project. They spoke of the need to make the learning relevant to wherever it is delivered, and how normalising the learning and actions around climate change will create a low carbon culture.

There was clear interest not just in how Carbon Literacy is implemented, but how it might work in China. The delegation raised the distinct challenge that China’s rising levels of financial wealth is driving up high carbon consumption and behaviour. There was therefore great interest in the potential of Carbon Literacy not just to accelerate action to decrease carbon footprints, but to drive up demand for low carbon goods and services, as well as support for low carbon policies. The presentation concluded with a mention of the first delivery of CL in China by our partners at Heald Place Primary School.

The Smart Green Cities project is still in its infancy but given post-event contact, further developments are awaited with interest.

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