An excellent example of what can be done to foster a positive attitude towards Climate Action by government is the award handed out recently by the joint UK government and industry body Go Ultra Low.
The Award is called the Ben Fogle Hero to Zero Emission Miles Challenge – Ben Fogle being a popular UK writer, broadcaster and adventurer who is the ‘ambassador’ for GoUltraLow.
The award, part of a national UK schools competition, is given to the school student who clocks up the most zero-emission miles travelled over the course of a week.
Over 600 schools across the UK took part in the challenge, which invited children between the ages of 7 and 11 to clock up ‘zero emission miles’ by walking, cycling, using public transport, or travelling in an electric vehicle.
The result: pupils across the UK accumulated a total of 5,717 “zero emission miles” (9,147km) over the course of a week, with the winner personally accumulating over 208 zero emission miles (or 333km).
The competition was run in conjunction with a series of lesson plans aligned to the UK curriculum, which saw over 100,000 pupils taught about the importance of zero-emission travel and the benefits of electric vehicles.
In the lessons, pupils learnt how their individual choices, such as using low and zero-emission travel, can help society collectively reduce its carbon footprint by using zero emission transport.
The pupils also learnt how driving in an electric vehicle can help improve local air quality, as fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles driven in electric mode produce no tailpipe emissions.
The winner receives tickets to the July 25 ABB Formula E-Prix in London, while the winner’s school receives a personal visit from Ben Fogle along with the UK Future for Transport Minister, George Freeman, plus an EV expert to teach them about the benefits of electric cars.
So what is GoUltraLow? It is joint a UK government and industry campaign aimed at increasing the purchase consideration of electric vehicles. As such it provides a one-stop shop for information about owning and running electric vehicles, the makes and models available, and the locations of the thousands of publicly-accessible charge points.
As an example of a conservative government that ‘gets’ climate change and sees need for coordinated, urgent action about it – one can only hope that our own Australian government might start reading the tea leaves of the current drought, bushfire and endangered species crises here and move on that front too.
It’s not as if there isn’t already a lot of positive examples of things to do they could adopt … without the need for another Royal Commission to look into their already well-researched root causes and ways to act on it.