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Carbon Literacy reaches 20k 6 August 2021

20,000 People across the UK now certified as Carbon Literate (via Carbon Literacy Project)


As extreme weather events driven by climate change become increasingly severe, and their economic impacts increasingly obvious, the UK approaches its leadership and hosting of the COP26 United Nations climate change negotiations in Glasgow beginning on November 1st. 2021.

Our government, employers, educators and civil society are all grappling as to how to engage people and organisations in delivering meaningful carbon reduction and action on climate change quickly and at scale.

In very positive news therefore, The Carbon Literacy Project has today announced that more than 20,000 people across the UK have now been formally assessed and certified as Carbon Literate, and as a consequence, pledged and taken well over 40,000 actions to directly address climate change and immediately reduce UK carbon emissions.

Working with people, groups and organisations drawn from all sectors of society, The Carbon Literacy Project oversees the delivery of a days’ worth of learning and action about climate–change. Uniquely however, although quality controlled by the Project, the training is co–designed and delivered not centrally, but by members of the sectors, groups and audiences receiving the training.


Carbon Literacy is thus adaptable for anywhere and yet consistent everywhere, and engages, informs and inspires audiences both to act right now to reduce their carbon emissions, but also to begin to plan and take much longer–term action toward a zero–carbon society, whatever they do, and whoever they are.

The Carbon Literacy Project (wholly owned by The Carbon Literacy Trust, Registered Charity no 1156722) works with citizens and community groups, social housing providers and civil society. It works with employers both public and private sector and organisations from SMEs to PLCs and local authorities and Government, and works in formal and informal education with schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

Because of this unique reach across all organisations and sectors of society, the Project has been able to bring together groups, organisations and individuals, to form unique partnerships and consortia, working and acting together to share ideas, resources, and funding, to achieve far more to accelerate climate action and reduce carbon emissions immediately than any single organisation could ever achieve alone. In summary as regards Carbon Literacy: “The whole is far greater than the sum of the parts”.

Because of its unique approach, the training and certification of 20,000 individuals has been performed not by the central Project working alone, but by the vast network of sectoral partners and organisations distributed across the sectors and geography of the United Kingdom and beyond.

Climate Northern Ireland has played its part in this initiative by developing the Climate Emergency training for Local Authorities in Northern Ireland and worked with Business in the Community NI to develop a Carbon Literacy for Top Management NI training targeting SMEs. In the last 6 months, Climate Northern Ireland has worked with The Carbon Literacy Project to adapt their Local Authorities toolkit to the context of Northern Ireland and tailored the training content to fit NI Local Authorities’ needs. In June 2021, a first pilot training was delivered to 30 staff members of Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC). This initiative is part of a 2.5–year project funded by DAERA to provide mitigation support to Local government and SMEs across NI.

Climate NI also delivered the training for its staff and those of Northern Ireland Environment Link which it is part of, as they are working towards becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation.


Sectoral participant Cathy Burns, DCSDC Climate Program Manager said “We are delighted in Derry City & Strabane District Council to have had the opportunity to be the Northern Ireland pilot for the Carbon Literacy training through Climate NI. Equipping our teams to understand climate change and delivering action across Council is vital to achieving our pledge to reach net zero and climate resilience by 2045 for the City & District. The training acts as a catalyst for change creating climate champions to drive forward action across all of our Council and we hope to deliver more training to achieve our aim of becoming a carbon literate Council.

Climate Northern Ireland’s mitigation officer, Perla Mansour said: “Northern Ireland is already behind other parts of the UK in that we do not even have  a net zero target. All sectors of society have a role to play in adapting to and helping mitigate climate change, we are working on delivering the Carbon Literacy training for Local Authorities and SMEs in NI as a first, but crucial step, to build an understanding of the current climate crisis and help enable informed decision making to reduce emissions on both an individual and organisational basis.”

Since its inception in 2012 the Project has grown steadily but for the last five years has been doubling in size every 20 months.

Read the full press release here…