Reading Climate Festival Week 20th to 26th September. A week of events to inspire positive local action on climate change
Residents, organisations and businesses across Reading are being encouraged to get involved in action to tackle climate change by taking part in Reading Climate Festival, a week of events from 20th to 26th September designed to inspire positive action on climate change.
Reading Climate Festival is aimed at helping residents, businesses, schools and community groups find out how to live more sustainably, make changes that will contribute towards our goal of a net zero, climate resilient town and gain a better understanding of how what we do locally makes a difference.
It starts on Monday 20th September with a programme that includes talks, workshops, movie screenings, guided tours, performances and even a public participation art project. The University of Reading will be running a number of events both for students and the general public, and there will be special events for educators who want to embed climate change into the curriculum.
This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever with more live events and a stronger arts and culture element. It’s supported by Reading UK’s Forbury Business Improvement District and The Great Big Green Week, a nationwide celebration of action on climate change. The festival is being run in association with Reading Town Meal, which has its centrepiece event in the Forbury Gardens on Saturday 25th September.
The Festival programme comprises over 40 events, both online and in person, with something for everyone no matter their age or background. The full schedule of events can be found at www.readingcan.org.uk/festival and events can be booked via What’s on Reading as well as Reading Climate Action Network’s own events page.
Launching the Festival, Tracey Rawling Church, co-chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership said “We were overwhelmed by the response to last year’s Festival which has led to it becoming an annual fixture in Reading’s calendar. And this year we’re part of the Great Big Green Week which is organsing a week of activities all across the country in the run-up to the critical climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow. Their support has enabled us to expand our range of content and we’ve focused on broadening the appeal of our activities to attract new audiences, especially younger people and families.”
“Climate change is an issue that affects us all and responding to it can seem like a daunting challenge. By providing activities that are thought-provoking and fun, and by sharing information about simple, practical steps that we can all take, we hope to inspire everybody who lives, works or studies in Reading to do what they can to make a difference.”
Professor Tim Dixon, co-chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership said “The Climate Festival Week is a ‘must attend’ event for anyone who is concerned about climate change or wants to learn more or do more in their local community. The University’s staff and students are always keen to engage with the events and this year is no exception."
"The festival also comes hot on the heels of the Reading Climate Education Summit https://www.reading.ac.uk/en/planet/climate-education-summit which is organised by the University and is also raising awareness about climate change, locally regionally and nationally.”
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “The Council recognises the importance of leading by example in taking action on climate change. We have already reduced our carbon footprint by 63%.”
“The Climate Emergency is everybody’s responsibility and no one organisation can deliver a net zero carbon Reading on its own, but by working together I am sure we can rise to this vital challenge.”
“Reading Climate Festival is an opportunity to be inspired to build a cleaner, greener, fairer town. I would urge residents, communities, businesses and organisations to get involved: find a session, performance or presentation you’re interested in and make the commitment to make one change at a time.”
As part of its commitment to delivering the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy, Reading Borough Council’s 2020-25 Carbon Plan sets ambitious targets to reduce the organisation’s emissions by 85% by 2025 - helping to drive both Reading and the council towards its net zero carbon target by 2030.
The Reading Climate Change Partnership is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder group including representatives from business, community groups and statutory authorities, originally established in 2008 as part of the Reading Local Strategic Partnership. The Council is an active partner in RCCP.
Reading Climate Festival is supported by Reading UK’s Forbury Business Improvement District and The Great Big Green Week, a nationwide campaign organised by The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change, whose members include the National Trust, WWF, Women's Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB.