People who live, work or study in Cumbria are being invited to share their opinions on climate change and ways to tackle it in a new survey launched this week.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability is running the survey and we want to hear from people from all walks of life and across all viewpoints, to help shape actions to reduce carbon emissions.

“There is unprecedented momentum in Cumbria to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and we want to make sure that the voices of people in Cumbria are heard and taken into account as the pace towards a zero carbon Cumbria quickens,” said Hazel Graham, chief executive of CAfS.

“The majority of district councils have declared climate emergencies and are now starting to plan the actions they will take in their districts. Meanwhile, business leaders are planning how they can reduce emissions in their operations. What none of us knows for sure is how people in our county feel about climate change. How concerned are they? What actions do they want to see – and, just as importantly, what actions do they not want to see?”

We hope the survey will also show what steps people are taking in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint, and any challenges that are making it difficult for them, which the charity may be able to help overcome. There are questions from national and international surveys, too, so that views in Cumbria can be compared to wider trends.

“The survey results will be hugely helpful to CAfS for shaping our future projects, so that we give people the support and information they tell us they need,” Hazel said. “The data will also be incredibly useful as evidence for funding bids, helping to bring money into the county to support efforts to cut emissions, with all the potential benefits that can bring – from warmer homes to a healthier, less polluted environment.”

The overall survey results will be shared publicly to help a range of organisations with future planning, from councils and other public-sector bodies to businesses.

CAfS intends to repeat the survey annually, to track any changes in opinions and to ensure its services continue to reflect local needs. It’s funded this year by the National Lottery Community Fund, as part of the Rebuilding Together programme to help Cumbria to adapt for the challenges of flooding and extreme weather.

“Whether you think there’s too much focus on climate change, or whether you’re on the streets protesting for urgent action, please do fill in the survey so that we hear the full range of views,” Hazel said. “This is your opportunity to have your say and influence what happens in our county. And there’s even a chance to win £100 in our prize draw.”

The survey closes on 30 November. It’s available online here on our website, and paper copies will be available at events around the county – from farmers’ markets to coffee mornings. If you’re holding an event and would like some paper copies, please email jaki@cafs.org.uk and we’ll send you some.

Fill in Cumbria Climate Survey 2019