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We Love Storytelling


In the autumn of 2020, Sir David Attenborough briefly “broke the internet” by joining Instagram. His reasoning, according to one of his handful of posts, was that “Saving our planet is now a communications challenge. We know what to do, we just need the will.”

That idea: that we know what to do, is very much at the core of Carbon Copy’s existence. It’s why we often use phrases like “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel” and “the solutions already exist”. The trouble is, as Sir David put it, we need the will – or rather (yes, I am going to correct a national treasure) – we ALL need the will.

So how do we create this will? After all, many people are struggling with busy, expensive, stressful lives. We know over three-quarters of people in the UK are concerned about the changing climate – but concern is often not enough to spark action – particularly when for many, our heating planet is just one of a growing number of anxiety-inducing issues they face. 

The answer, at least as far as we at Carbon Copy are concerned, is stories. 

Rachael Orr, CEO of the superb climate communications charity Climate Outreach recently wrote: “Climate change affects us all, and involves us all. But all too often conversations about climate exclude and alienate.”  

To avoid this alienation, we’ve set about creating a collection of stories. Relatable stories about real and relatable people. People who look, and sound, and act in a way that feels familiar.

Gathering these stories is a joyful experience and a privilege. In the nearly four years since I first began working as Chief Storyteller at Carbon Copy, I have come across so many brilliant, inspiring and innovative examples of people coming together where they live to take action. 

There are big-thinking community groups and grassroots organisations making a huge impact with just a few volunteers, there are proactive businesspeople and council leaders enacting pioneering policies across their local area, and there are dedicated people of all social backgrounds, ages, genders, sexual identities, ethnicities and religious groups getting involved.

The examples that resonate the most, are those where the outcomes extend far beyond emissions reductions. Where project participants have gained new skills or a new job, where their health or wellbeing has been positively impacted, where they’ve built long-lasting connections and friendships with the people around them who share their hopes and ambitions for a better future. It’s through these narratives in particular that we can better engage with the concerned majority and create the will to act.

Carbon Copy’s national collection, a thousand stories strong, is still growing; and we use every opportunity we can to highlight and boost awareness of the people behind them. This month, we will be joining in with The Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign, which is calling for people to share their action stories on social media, and to craft green hearts to represent the things they hold dear and want to see protected from climate breakdown.

If you’re looking for ways to make a difference in your local area, search through our initiative pages now, or search #ShowTheLove on social media to see the examples being shared.

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