Posted on: Thursday 27 January 2022
Plans for Torfaen's first climate ambassadors network are starting to take shape.
Thirteen people interested in becoming community ambassadors met with representatives from Torfaen Council this week to discuss what the roles should involve and how the network can be developed.
It was agreed the roles should include a focus on education, encouraging behaviour change and celebrating examples of positive action, as well as identifying challenges and working together to find innovative solutions to help our community.
It was also agreed that a central online hub needs to be developed so residents can find out more about the network, contact ambassadors, share best practice, access resources and find out how to take part.
Rhiannon Munroe, from New Inn, who is interested in how ambassadors can inspire behaviour change, said: "It is important this leads to transformative change in Torfaen. Education is important but it needs to translate into action."
Professor John Hunt, a climate change scientist and geologist, from Blaenavon, said: "I feel very passionately that education needs to be done through active learning, such as recording active travel miles on a meter, rather than just sharing information.
"The best victories are achieved by sharing success rather than just focusing on what needs to be done."
The meeting also included a presentation about some of the carbon reducing steps being taken at one of the council's buildings as an example of what can be done.
Torfaen Council's energy and carbon reduction manager Gren Ham said: "We're investing in electric charging points at the Ty Blaen site for cars and trucks, and upgrading the grid connection to allow us to use and store solar powered electricity. But we're also considering how we could use hydrogen and biofuel in the longer term.
"It’s about taking steps now as well as looking to future technologies and sometimes delaying change to allow us to benefit from those advances in the longer term."
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Torfaen Council, who chaired the meeting, said: "I want to thank everyone who has shown an interest in becoming a Torfaen climate ambassador.
"There are so many people in our communities with the knowledge, skills and passion to inspire sustainable change and I believe this network will be key to helping Torfaen to become net carbon zero by 2050."
The next climate ambassadors network will be held in March and the topic will be active travel. To take part in the meeting or join the ambassadors network, email email@example.com
*If you are interested in active travel, click here to take part in our consultation to improve Cwmbran Drive for pedestrians and cyclists.