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Hope for the Future Common Home, Common Ground: Charity launches climate-focused webinar series

Series provides space for discussion about how we can continue to take action on climate change during period of global uncertainty.

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Hope for the Future is a climate charity which works to equip communities, groups and individuals across the country to communicate the urgency of climate change to their local politicians. Here, a team member explains their recently launched webinar series 'Common Home, Common Ground: Climate Conversations with Hope for the Future'.

For Hope for the Future, like everyone, the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown came as an enormous shock. As a charity focused on outward-facing engagement, we were faced with the challenge of how to navigate the new world we found ourselves in. The enormous amount of case work MPs had, as well as the government's priorities understandably shifting entirely towards containing the pandemic, meant that working with UK elected representatives on climate change became near impossible. But, despite what the news cycle may tell us - with pictures of clear Venice canals, and a reported spike in the bumble bee population - climate change is not going away. It is more important than ever that the discourse surrounding the climate crisis isn't obscured.

Many of the MPs that we spoke to, particularly during the first weeks of the crisis, were so stretched that questions of climate policy and non-essential meetings slid down the list of priorities. As a climate movement, we were faced with the challenge of ensuring that the climate crisis did not slip from the agenda whilst remaining sensitive to the fact that many people in the UK, both MPs and constituents, are under extreme stress.

The need for on-going conversations, and having the time and space for self-reflection on the climate movement, ultimately governed the direction we chose to put our energy in during this time. The result has been a series of webinars: 'Common Home, Common Ground'. The aim of this series is to provide a space to begin a discussion about how we can continue to take action on climate change during this period of global uncertainty. We've brought together expertise from across all our areas of public engagement to create free and interactive webinars, running as five mini-series from May to July 2020.

The webinars will cover five topics, reflecting Hope for the Future's areas of expertise: media, MP engagement, young families, youth and faith, and allowing people to come together and have climate conversations from home.

If we are to build a better society in our process of recovery from the current pandemic, it is essential that residents have a say, not just about whether we take climate action, but how this process will happen. Climate policy affects all the choices people make on a daily basis; how you get to work, what you pay for your fuel bills, and even your life expectancy. As such it's important that we have inclusive conversations about the sort of society we all wish to live in. Experience tells us that ill-informed climate policy risks being a blunt instrument with disastrous consequences. The Gilets Jaunes protests provide a particularly vivid illustration of what can happen when climate policy fails to be inclusive.

With these webinars, Hope for the Future seeks to encourage the conversations about climate that we need to be having in the UK, crucially working towards a more inclusive climate movement that can include everyone in the move towards a greener future.

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