FSFC - the UK's only carbon shares campaign
Fair Shares, Fair Choice (FSFC) - the UK's only dedicated campaign to engage the public and decision-makers in the idea of living within a globally-fair and climate-safe ‘carbon share'.
The overall aim of FSFC was to demonstrate to Government that the public is ready to explore measures to reduce our collective carbon footprint – in an equitable way. FSFC promoted the idea of tradable personal 'carbon allowances', backed by incentives for low carbon choices.
FSFC was also about climate education and provided support for low carbon lifestyles/leadership and climate responsibility, with a host of resources – including a carbon calculator and carbon saving challenges – designed to help people reduce individual carbon footprints. FSFC was promoted through a dedicated website as well as at public events around the region.
Importantly, FSFC appealed to people's sense of local and global fairness: using C02 reduction model 'Contraction & Convergence', which can be used to calculate ‘fair' and ‘safe' per person carbon allowances for different populations (taking into account the development needs of different countries), FSFC calculated a ‘fair carbon share’ for every person who lives in the South West of England and the UK for 10 years.
The scheme was not prescriptive but aimed to help people understand that each of their lifestyle choices have a different ‘carbon price’ and that adopting a low carbon lifestyle would drive a low carbon economic recovery and support personal well being. The annual emissions ceiling they must try to live within, through their energy, travel and shopping choices, is 3.2 tonnes of CO2 by 2017.
FSFC was primarily funded by SW RDA. The project was also supported in part with grants from Defra and English Heritage.
- Over 2,700 individuals, organisations, businesses and community groups signed up to support the principle of ‘A globally fair and safe carbon share for everyone’. Supporters included chef Michael Caines, author and climate change campaigner Mark Lynas, Eden Project’s Tim Smit, Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt, and the founder of Contraction and Convergence, Aubrey Meyer. Three county, one borough, two unitary, five district, two city and three town councils signed up to support the principle as well as 165 councillors and 15 MPs, with all of the main parties represented. Organisations supporting FSFC included NHS Sustainable Development Unit, Environment Agency SW, Wessex Water, TUC SW, Flybe, Viridor, UK Youth Parliament SW, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, RSPB SW, the Eden Project, Sustrans and Centre for Sustainable Energy, plus schools, colleges, universities and a number of community groups.
- Fair Shares, Fair Choice was chosen as one of 19 ‘Breakthroughs for the 21st Century’ in the transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy by the Sustainable Development Commission.
- Two promotional films were produced and screened at numerous cinemas in the region. They can be viewed on YouTube: FSFC main promo; FSFC early promo.
- A climate change survey was carried with members of the public. 95% of respondents agreed that “Everyone should have a globally fair and safe carbon share”. 88% of respondents also agreed strongly that “Everyone should take responsibility to do something about climate change”.
- Carbon footprint calculator worksheets and challenges to reduce your carbon footprint were distributed to members of the public at events and in shopping malls all around the region. FSFC stands were also held at business events. The FSFC event resources are available to download below:
Resources for individuals:
Resources for organisations:
Climate Change legacy:
On SustNav's closure in 2014, Fair Shares, Fair Choice resources transferred to Pale Blue Dot, a leadership organisation set up to help people learn and work together to achieve more. Pale Blue Dot is a Community Interest Company whose stated aim is to “develop community leadership in sustainable development”.