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Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change – Session 4, 24th May 2021 

Low Carbon Lifestyles

For our fourth session the members met back in the Barool Suite and we started the evening by watching a short video: Lifestyle change and system change are two sides of the same coin.

This was to get the forum thinking of how we can make small changes that make an impact. The video discusses the need for individual lifestyle changes alongside fundamental system change to reach our net zero goals together. After the short video and before our next presenters, the members talked to their neighbour about the question ‘how do you hear about things? What influences you?’  their thoughts were captured on post it notes which were collected after a quick break. Facebook came out as the most popular form of communication channel; we have captured some of the other forms of news/communication used by the members in the word cloud below:

 Low Carbon Lifestyles word cloud

After the quick exercise there was a presentation by Jo Swift from Greenhouse PR, who presented their insights work conducted for the Island’s Change & Engagement plan using the ‘COM-B’ model and the results of interviews they carried out with members of the public and the forum. Greenhouse also talked about how everyone can get involved, and if the net zero target by 2050 feels achievable. Jo also touched upon the ‘Britain Thinks’ research on attitudes to climate change.

From the interviews carried out by Greenhouse and using the conclusions from the COM B model, the Isle of Man community is absolutely committed to the economics of ‘Green Recovery’ There is a mixed attitude to climate change on the Island and net zero, but growing support for the measures that need to be taken. Naturally there are concerns of how the Island will achieve this in terms of cost and the scale of what needs to be done.  The COM-B model showed that the Islanders need more information around how they would get to net zero, that the end goal of 2050 felt too far away and that it was difficult to see the effects of Climate Change on our Island.

The slides from the evening were emailed to the forum members and provide a comprehensive overview of the results from the interviews.

The members had a question and answer session with Jo; some of the questions and answers are below:

  • Q: How many people were interviewed?  A: 10 people were interviewed across different demographics, the survey that was conducted however, included more than 1000 members of the community.
  • Q: What are the concerns regarding cost? A: The cost factor came up many times regarding things like electric cars, heating homes, and suitable local food.
  • Q: In research and interviews, did you have any view on travel off island (by necessity?) Yes – increased need to travel. 50% of travel emissions are shared with UK. 

The forum discussed with their neighbour what resonated with them from Jo’s presentation.

There was a quick break before our second presentation of the evening from Vivid who are working on our campaign.

 24 May - workshop 124 May - workshop 2

24 May - workshop 3

After the break, Vivid presented their campaign and the messaging which could be used to raise awareness of reaching net zero by 2050.

After the presentation there was a chance for the forum members to question Vivid on their campaign. The questions and comments that were raised, gave way to a lively and honest debate with Vivid and the forum members. The Forum members didn’t feel that the campaign identified with the Island, it was too urban/stark and that the tagline felt too similar to other recent campaigns. They felt that the insights work didn’t necessarily match to the final campaign. The team were asked why local companies were not considered as part of the bidding process for our campaign, as Vivid are a UK company who have worked with the Island for 8 years. The members expressed that any local company should be the preferred option. The team explained they are if they meet the criteria for the assignment, in this case no local company matched the brief set for the campaign in terms of price and quality.

There was no time for the exercise part of the evening as the ongoing debate and discussion regarding Vivid’s campaign swallowed up our remaining time. The forum members did articulate very well their thoughts regarding the campaign, and the important subjects they wished to debate and understand.

Although the exercises are a crucial part in producing the output which feeds into policy decisions, the members would like more time to have in depth discussions and debate, and this is something the team will account for in the next two forums we have left for 2021.

A snippet of the feedback we received in the discussions were:

  • Members would like a feedback loop between the board and themselves – potentially by having one member from the forum attend.
  • Members would like to see climate change fed into wider government department policies.
  • There should be a more streamlined procurement process- this is due for review and will be taken into account.   

We have noticed a decline in our numbers at the last two forums, if you no longer wish to be a part of the Citizens Forum, please reply and we shall make sure you are taken off our mailing list.