Andrew Kythreotis, Kate Bell and Charlotte Brooks
3 May 2023
It’s been a whirlwind last year for Lincoln Climate Commission as it goes from strength to strength. In 2022, Commission members won some vital Strategic Priority funding to help publish its Climate Action Plan 2030 and to produce some bespoke community climate engagement tools, like this Lincoln2030 animated video. Having been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021, Lincoln Climate Commission was finally setting its stall out in being a truly active, place-based commission that serves its local community, businesses and residents.
Planning an assembly
In 2023 we have set off where we left off in 2022, winning strategic priority funding again to start the Lincoln Climate Assembly process – #ClimateHopeLincoln. Whilst we had no prescriptive formula plans in how to plan the assembly process, we decided that this process should be as organic and community led as possible. We had a lot of questions.
How are we going to work together? What are our agreed aims and separate objectives? What resource, experience, innovation, or support could each group bring? What events are planned, or being planned, locally so we could avoid duplication or connect to collaborate? How are we going to be inclusive (languages, accessibility, marketing)? Who else needs to be involved at this stage? What would our participants like to see covered in the assembly process campaign?
So many questions, and this is why the Commission has garnered the support of LocalMotion, the City of Lincoln Council and the University of Lincoln, to help facilitate the assembly process and bring disparate local climate networks together across the city to help us answer these questions and share all our hopes for climate action in Lincoln.
Vibrant first session
The University of Lincoln hosted the first assembly workshop on 1st February 2023. A vibrant session was held with our city climate changemakers, facilitated brilliantly by Charlotte Brooks (shown in header image), LocalMotion Lincoln’s Director of Change. After the session we drafted some shared aims in simple language:
Together, #ClimateHopeLincoln will provide space to help communities:
- realise their impact on the environment (locally and globally)
- understand the difference small changes can make, either now or in the future
- share ideas with leaders and policymakers
- connect local campaigners for better long-term collaboration
- support the coordination of our resources to help us unite and act on climate change
Plans for the future
The commission realises that these aims will take a while to achieve. Even though our funding runs out at the end of July 2023, we firmly believe that the climate assembly process is an iterative process that is likely to never end, but rather evolve, much like climate change does. However, these are some of our plans over the next five months.
We will be working with our partners to deliver a number of events as part of Lincoln’s climate assembly process over the next six months, including:
- Project Fashion Fixed – a student led project that is a creative and imaginative approach to raising awareness about the environmental impacts of our clothing and fashion choices. The project and event are intended to appeal to the interests of a wide community audience but they will particularly appeal to a younger audience.
- Business Summit – in collaboration with Social Change UK and the local newspaper, The Lincolnite, as part of their business week, creating a space for businesses to meet to share sustainable and achievable ideas and solutions to the climate crisis.
- Spark Festival 2023 – This event is scheduled to take place on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of July at Lincoln Cathedral and is a celebration of Lincolnshire's engineering past, present and future. The Lincoln Climate Commission will have a presence at this event which attracts many visitors and particularly families. We will be working with students from the University of Lincoln to organise interactive climate games, which have been designed by the students to raise awareness about place-based climate change.
- Doughnut economics – an event being planned for June 2023 with the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL) to engage with individuals and organisations (including policy makers) around human prosperity fit for the 21st century, meeting the needs of all people, whilst living within the means of the planet.
- Citizens’ assembly – launching in July and running over a period of six months, a series of community-led events with a core group of individuals, representative of the local demographic, to collectively look at ways to tackle our impact on our environment.
- Online consultation – following the BIG Lincoln Conversation led by LocalMotion Lincoln, which closed in March 2023, it is proposed that an expansion of the conversation survey will have a sustainability focus for everyone to participate.
- Building a network – under the banner #ClimateHopeLincoln, the desire to grow an open network of local changemakers finding new ways to collaborate working towards a common goal around inclusive and equitable place-based climate governance.
Andrew Kythreotis is Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, a Lincoln Climate Commissioner and a PCAN Associate. Kate Bell is Climate Change Manager at Lincoln City Council. Charlotte Brooks is Director of Change at LocalMotion Lincoln