Climate Week in the UK is Somewhat Controversial

climate change photo

Photo: climateweek

It's Climate Week in the UK this week. It will include over 800 local events across the country, a national Climate Challenge competition, and Climate Week Awards to recognise people and organisations that have made a difference. It all sounds like pretty good, positive stuff; identifying and promoting practical solutions for building a low-carbon society.

The week has been endorsed by the likes of Kofi Annan, Al Gore and Sienna Miller. However the choice of a few of the sponsors for the week has caused some controversy.

climate sponsors photo

Photo: climateweek

The controversial ones are the Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco and EDF Energy. The Ecologist magazine has been on a real rampage about this, as have People & Planet.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is involved in the financing of the Alberta Tar Sands. Tesco is controversial because the supermarket's "entire business model is based on the mass transportation of goods halfway across the globe, and on driving a race-to-the-bottom in environmental and labour standards in farming worldwide." EDF Energy is an issue because it operates two of the five biggest coal fired power stations in the UK.

The groups are also concerned that by focusing on the small positive changes that individuals can make, it lets the big corporations off the hook. This is an issue that TreeHugger has discussed many times. To really make changes we have to kick our oil addiction, remove plastic from our lives, and become more energy efficient as a society.

climate tee photo

Photo: climateweek

However, many people are not so concerned about the banner under which the event is happening, they just want to do their bit. Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events. The hope is that positive examples and improvements will encourage others to do the same. "The power of these real, practical examples - the small improvements and the big innovations - will then inspire millions more people."

They have hundreds of ideas for each sector of the community to become involved. They have set a challenge to come up with "a brilliant idea and a great plan of action to help combat climate change." So join the fun but keep in mind who is running the show, literally and figuratively.

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