In June 2019, Blackpool Council declared a climate emergency starting with a commitment to making sure the council’s own activities become net zero in carbon emissions by 2030. To put their citizens at the heart of shaping the future of Blackpool, we facilitated the town’s first citizens assembly on climate action.
A desire for change
Blackpool is a large town and seaside resort on the Lancashire coast in England. Well known as one of England’s favourite tourist destinations, it receives around 10 million visitors each year. Yet it’s one of the most deprived local authority areas in the country.
Despite one of the challenges around deprivation often linked with low levels of community participation, we were delighted to see huge enthusiasm for the assembly. After sending 8,000 letters to randomly selected residents asking if they wanted to take part, we received a large number of replies from all parts of the community. The energy within the community for improving their place and getting involved in the climate response was clear.
We’d like to share the story of one resident involved in Blackpool’s first climate assembly.
Creating an inclusive assembly
When Eric*, a 78-year-old man living in sheltered accommodation, received his letter to join a citizen assembly on climate action in the post he knew he wanted to take part. Distressed by the news he’d seen around climate change, Eric was passionate about learning how he could make a difference for his family’s future.