Wednesday, 25 June 2008

An experience of the Ashden Awards

The following post is reproduced from the Big Green Challenge blog.

Vicki Costello writes:

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Ashden Awards. The evening celebrated the achievements of the shortlisted entrants and generated much inspiration (congratulations to one of our Big Green Challengers - Global Action Plan, who won the UK community project category). The finalist businesses, local authorities, schools and community projects from the UK, Africa, South America, India and China all demonstrated incredible passion and commitment to persisting in their efforts to move the world towards a low-carbon future.

Passion and dogged persistence were two of the crucial traits Nobel Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai spoke of as being required to make the kind of ambitious projects seen in both the Ashden Awards and the Big Green Challenge work. She also spoke about the small things everyone can do, and urged everyone to take action everyday.

This sense of urgency was also stressed by Sir David King, who painted a powerful and uncomfortable picture of what rising temperatures and sea levels might feel like. He also called for a more consistent and prolific approach to sustainability - urging politicians and businesses in particular to commit to building a sustainable future across all their activities.

I left the Awards with renewed concern about the scale and urgency of the issues we are facing to a greater degree (if you’ll excuse the pun) every day. I also left with a feeling of hope, inspired by the finalists. I feel this sense of hope too as I read through the detailed plans from our Big Green Challengers. There are people, out there with the foresight, ideas, passion and persistence to make change happen. Now that these people and their ideas are being found and slowly recognised, governments, businesses and communities need to work together to understand how these ideas can be scaled - quickly and effectively.

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