C8 – "green influentials"

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Forget the G8, Gordon meets the “C8” for fresh thinking on how to tackle climate change

To mark this year’s Energy Saving Week, the Energy Saving Trust has assembled the “C8” to start one million conversations on climate change during the Week. Like the G8, the C8 is made up of important leaders – but these leaders represent the everyday influential communities in the UK that have the most potential to drive mass adoption of energy efficient behaviour and reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.

The C8 includes leaders from the likes of the Women’s Institute and the Church of England as well as a leading green blogger, Adam Vaughan. During Energy Saving Week, the C8 is urging people within and beyond their networks to take action to reduce C02 emissions. Women’s Institute groups will be holding electrical appliance amnesties and climate coffee mornings while priests up and down the country will be putting climate change at the heart of their Sunday sermons.

C8 members were selected by the Energy Saving Trust on the back of the launch of the world’s first ever climate change Influence Index that measures potential to influence large numbers of people through understanding of green issues, social networks and their community connections. Membership of the Women’s Institute and religious groups was each made up of 72% ‘green influentials’ – the most persuasive and powerful group on the Index – busting the national average of 38%. Shopkeepers were also shown to be a key community, with 61% falling into the green influential category.

Following a summit on Monday to discuss the best ways to spread the word about climate change through their organisations and networks, representatives from each community visited Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, yesterday to secure his backing for the campaign.

Gordon Brown said: “Energy efficiency is firmly on our agenda here and we value the great work that the Energy Saving Trust has done in this area and the potential of its ‘C8’ partners to spread the message. As the ‘C8’ has stipulated, saving energy and fighting climate change isn’t solely about the Government taking action, it is also about what we can all do as individuals and in our communities.”

Philip Sellwood, Energy Saving Trust Chief Executive, said: “If all 211,000 members of the Women’s Institute boiled only the water they needed rather than overfilling the kettle each time, collectively they would save around £1,000,000 in annual fuel bills and more than 5,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The message is – individual actions do make a difference and encouraging communities to club together motivates people to do their bit.”

To find out whether you’re a green influential, take the test at: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/influencer

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