Marlborough Climate Pledgers celebrate their fifth birthday

Written by Tony Millett on .

Marlborough Climate Pledge was launched in May 2006 when the former Environment Minister, Michael Meacher addressed a packed Town Hall. He described it as “the most amazing meeting I’ve attended for ten or twenty years. You don’t often get meetings like this.”

Five years on and the stalwarts who formed the organisation and are now its steering group, were welcoming  guests to their birthday party last Friday at the Wesley Hall – armed with some of their environmental ‘bare feet’ posters.

After a supper, they heard from representatives of other local green groups: the Pewsey Environment Action Team or PEAT, Corsham Transition Town and the Aldbourne Village Green group.

Marlborough Climate Pledge’s original – and continuing – aim is to help people make individual pledges to take action that helps reduce their personal use of energy and so make their own contribution to reducing our impact on climate change.  The pledges come in four categories: waste, transport, energy and food.

It’s not just a ‘box-ticking’ exercise.   There’s been follow-up, asking people to let them know how well they’re keeping to their pledges – then they can estimate the collective impact on saving CO2 in the Marlborough area.

They have taken a number of other initiatives to spread the word in the Marlborough area.
They  hold monthly ‘Green Drinks’ sessions in the back room of the Sun – informal sessions during which they hear from an expert about such topics as green investment, green energy or how industry is adapting itself to climate change.  They have also shown a number of films highlighting problems facing the environment.

Marlborough Climate Pledge run the popular monthly farmers’ markets in the Town Hall. These started in 2008 and now include a fair-trade café.

They have spent a lot of their own energy in persuading both the recent and present Devizes constituency MPs to support national initiatives and urge the government to impose tougher limits on damaging emissions.

Feedback from MPs makes it clear that this campaigning really helps them to judge the strength of feeling on green issues.

They had enormous support in the town during their political campaigning in the run up to the Copenhagen climate change summit and the climate change Bill.  And they are still getting a strong response.

As one of the group’s founders, Jo Ripley, says: “People like the fact that on this serious issue they are part of a movement – and a cause.”