NERC at Green GB Week: The highlights

23 October 2018

Last week the government rolled out the UK's first Green GB Week, to coincide with ten years of the Climate Change Act.

This year's annual event showcased the UK's transition towards a greener economy and highlighted the opportunities that clean growth offers. The week also helped raise awareness about tackling climate change among businesses and the public. Some key events from the Green GB Week are detailed below.

NERC Acting Executive Chair Alison Robinson said:

NERC's involvement in Green GB Week aimed to ensure both environmental science, and the important work of engaging the public with this research, continues to be at the heart of the conversation about tackling climate change.

Operation Earth visits 10 Downing Street

Earthy mascot outside 10 Downing Street

NERC's public engagement commission, Operation Earth, visited 10 Downing Street to deliver a workshop to engage children with some of the major environmental challenges facing the world today. Pupils from Freshford Church school in Somerset, and Ravens Wood and Hayes Schools, both in Bromley, travelled to Westminster to take part in Green GB Week.

Claire Perry MP opened the event highlighting two big environment issues which are particularly pertinent for the future generation of scientists and innovators: air pollution and plastics in the environment.

The family show, developed for NERC in collaboration with the UK Association for Science & Discovery Centres (ASDC), tells the tale of Earthy, represented by a planet Earth costume, having a health check-up. The children also took part in a selection of experiments, including testing air quality and spotting different species in an indoor citizen science meadow.

ASDC Chief Executive Penny Fidler said:

This programme brings alive the latest environmental research from NERC and over 100,000 children and families across the UK have already taken part, exploring the science and discussing the issues. Since Operation Earth was created, I have been struck by the number of small children who want to help, as well as the number who ask, 'Why are the grown-ups letting this happen?'

European launch of IPCC report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1·5°C warming was launched in the UK during Green GB Week at an event hosted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and exhibited by our research centres: the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

NERC's research programme Understanding the Pathways to and Impacts of a 1·5°C Rise in Global Temperature fed into the IPCC's landmark report, which warns of the severe environmental impacts if global temperatures exceed the 1·5°C target set by the Paris agreement.

Climate question time

The public had the chance to bring their climate change questions to a panel of experts and local MPs, including a number of NERC-funded scientists from Leeds University's Priestly International Centre for Climate and several other universities in the North of England.

The 'climate question time' event was hosted by Leeds Climate Commission and the Economic & Social Research Council, and was one in a series of 'climate chats' held across the country bringing the public together with climate experts.

Climate change in Great Britain illustrated series

NERC-funded scientist Emily Shuckburgh teamed up with illustrator Chris Haughton and environmental children's writer Nicola Davies to create a series of illustrations about how climate change could affect animals, that were launched during Green GB Week. The digital illustrations focus on a range of iconic British species, telling of the impact that climate change is already having on the way they live in the natural world. The evocative graphics and their descriptions can be found in full on our Twitter feed @NERCScience - external link -.

Further information

Ione Bingley
Press & Communications Officer
01793 411616
07864 972302