Through its raft of initiatives, training, and events Climate Action North encourages and engages with as many people, community groups, and businesses as possible to mobilise climate action and make the changes so desperately needed to fight the climate crisis. 

Spanning the North of England and the Scottish borders, the company is run by directors Sharon Lashley, Jennifer Clair Robson, and Julie Harrison who, after working on a wide variety of climate change issues throughout their careers, decided to pool their knowledge and experience to make a positive difference. 

“We want as many people and businesses as possible to start taking action to halt and reverse the climate crisis,” Sharon explains, “and we knew we could combine our expertise to help others to find ways to take action to make things better and avoid doing things that make it worse.”

Its award-winning Wear and Tees Action for Rivers (WATAR) initiative is just one way that Climate Action North successfully gets volunteers to take practical action. Teaming up with local companies, marine safety partners Swiftwater Solutions and Impact Recycling, it focuses on clean-up activities on the beach, on the water, on mudflats and on rocks with all the collected plastic being repurposed and reprocessed.

“We take to the rivers and clean them from a Water Witch boat and use a specialist services hovercraft to clean up mudflat areas, and on rocks where there are rock armour or rocky areas that are typically difficult to access,” explains Sharon. “We are constantly collecting large quantities of plastic during our beach cleans and river clean ups. Working with Impact Recycling means all the plastic collected is treated using BOSS technology and re-enters the circular economy system to be repurposed into alternative products such as coat hangers, pallets, pipes, and furniture. This not only reduces the single-use plastics issue but also closes the plastics recycling gap and reduces overall consumption levels.”

The Climate Action North directors also support the Greenpeace campaign for a Just Transition that wants to see the development of the green economy take place in a way that’s fair to everyone. “We visited Greenpeace when it moored its iconic Rainbow Warrior III vessel in Sunderland to support its petition for sustainable, green skilled jobs in the move to green power. 

“A just transition will ensure that a move to an environmentally stable economy is inclusive and will see workers employed in the oil and gas sector retrained to keep green energy powering the world

No-one wants a situation where a whole workforce, and whole communities, are left with high unemployment as we saw happen with coal miners in the 1980s.”
It is with this in mind that Climate Action North is hosting an event that will focus on upskilling installers, heating engineers, electricians, and small businesses as future technologies come into play. 

“We want to support this workforce and help them to retrain and obtain the necessary qualifications to be ‘skills-ready’ for the just transition to a cleaner, greener future. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help them achieve this.”

No one can tackle the climate crisis alone and no one must be left behind, which is why Climate Action North’s wide range of projects ensures that there is something for everyone so that they can share ideas and learn how to take climate action that can easily be applied in everyday life. 

“We mobilise and inspire communities, businesses, schools and individuals to make one small change or many changes to help fight the climate and ecological crises,” Sharon says. “We support local action and thinking globally, through our Global Wilders® programme using our influence, experience, and expertise to grow our network of climate champions and supporters whether it be through direct action in our projects or through other support methods such online sponsorships or donations.

“We’re rewilding the North’s business parks through our Pollinator Parks® project, creating mini meadows and gardens for pollinators as well as providing much needed connectivity and green spaces for wildlife and wellbeing of communities. Building on the 30/30 target of organisations such as Rewilding Britain and Wildlife Trusts, we want to see 30% of business parks rewilded by 2030. 

“We’re also supporting the business community through our Business Action Toolkit in lowering carbon emissions, boosting resilience to the changing climate, and get on track to transition to a green future by making simple changes through climate and nature-based solutions to help achieve their net zero and climate emergency targets.
“Our vision is: ‘The time for talking is over, today we need to act’ and we want as many people as possible to make the lifestyle changes we so desperately need to fight the climate crisis. 

“After all,” Sharon concludes, “if the 7.6 billion people on the planet all made one small change then this, alongside much bigger global changes, would be a positive start to stabilising the fragile environment we love so dearly and the need to sustain life on earth.”

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