Dacorum Climate Action Network hosts event to discuss local action against climate emergency

The event was planned to coincide with COP26 – the global climate conference in Glasgow

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:04 pm

An event to discuss local action being taken to address the climate and ecological emergency has been held.

Dacorum Borough Council brought together individuals and organisations from across the borough to discuss the issues.

Over 100 attendees came in person to the very first Dacorum Climate Action Network (Dacorum CAN) event, with more than 30 watching online.

Cllr Andrew Williams opens Dacorum CAN Network event

The event gave them the chance to find out more about what local action is happening, what they can do to help stop climate change and how they can get involved in local projects.

It was planned to coincide with COP26 – the global climate conference in Glasgow.

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The event included a range of stall holders and speakers.

Dacorum CAN attendees with pledges

And it also saw Dacorum Borough Council announce the opening of its 2021-22 Green Community Grants, which provide up to £3,000 to support local projects that benefit the local environment and Dacorum residents.

Throughout October, local residents had also been submitting their art for a Climate and Ecological Emergency Art Exhibition.

The event showcased many of these, which are now on display in the Dacorum Creatives Gallery in the Marlowes Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead from now until Sunday, November 28 (open Fridays to Sundays).

Melanie Parr, the Climate Emergency and Sustainability Programme Lead for Dacorum Borough Council, gave an overview of the borough’s overall emissions and explained that the borough needs to work together to halve emissions drastically by 2025 in order to meet the UK’s climate targets.

Dacorum CAN stall holders

She also outlined the recent work that the council has been doing to help lower emissions and support biodiversity in the borough.

Emma Matthars, one of the winners of last year’s Green Community Grant, spoke about her work at Chaulden Allotments to encourage plot holders to welcome more wildlife and work with the community to encourage them to grow their own.

Victoria Nevin from Affinity Water talked about local water usage and projects such as ‘Save our Streams’, to protect local chalk streams - which are one of the rarest ecosystems in the world.

Tim Hill, Conservation Manager from Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust spoke about the changes to our local environment, including species that have gone extinct locally in Hertfordshire, and the need for a diverse range of habitats and projects to restore local wildlife and help mitigate climate change.

Dacorum CAN climate art exhibition

Jo Southernwood from Eastern New Energy explained the ways local businesses can be more sustainable in the future and the free advice services on offer to help them reduce their carbon footprint and improve their business.

Finally, Catherine Jones from Sunnyside Rural Trust - another recipient of the Council’s Green Community Grant scheme - spoke about the initiatives being undertaken with their trainees from growing food, caring for animals used for grazing to manage their land more effectively and growing plants for the Chelsea Flower Show.

Cllr Andrew Williams, leader of Dacorum Borough Council, said: “It was fantastic to host our first Dacorum CAN event during COP26 and bring together voices from local industry, ecology and charity sectors to discuss the climate and ecological issues facing Dacorum and more importantly, the innovative ways individuals and organisations are tackling it.

“To get everyone working on the climate challenge from different sectors and areas of our community together, was a great way to get the message out that if we can all make small changes, we can make a big difference.”