Winchester should be one of the England’s leading cities in facing the challenge of human caused climate change.   That is one of the starting points for a new organisation that is being set up in the City with the support of the Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council, the University of Winchester and other prominent organisations in the City. 

On Monday 1 October 2007, the first meeting of the Steering Group of Winchester Action on Climate Change is being held at the offices of architecture plb.   Representatives of about a dozen of the main employers and other influential organisations in the City are expected to attend.  The meeting will consider the proposed aims of Winchester Action on Climate Change which include promoting the many benefits of low carbon living; and advising  organisations and households in Winchester district to measure and monitor their carbon footprints, and to aim to reduce them by an agreed set of annual targets. 

Robert Hutchison, the convenor of Winchester Action on Climate Change, says that he thinks that Winchester has an exciting future as a low carbon city.   ‘It is no longer a question of whether we are going to move to a low carbon society, it is a matter of when and how we are going to do so.   The sooner we get on with it the better.  Climate Change presents an opportunity as well as a threat; many benefits to the people of Winchester could follow from an open and shared approach towards moving to a low carbon society.  These include warmer homes, better health, new jobs and stronger communities’.  

Mr Hutchison, who came to Winchester in 1996 to take up the post of Chief Executive of Southern Arts Board, says he has been enormously encouraged by the response of the local authorities and the University of Winchester to the initiative that he has proposed. 

On Saturday 6 October at 10.30 at the Friends Meeting House, Colebrook Street, there will be an open meeting of all those interested in supporting the aims of Winchester Action on Climate Change. 

Notes to Editors:
1.    Before working  at Southern Arts Robert Hutchison was the Coordinator of the Green Alliance, a national organisation that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that the environment is at the heart of decision-making; he is the co-author (with Professor Paul Ekins and Dr Mayer Hillman) of Wealth Beyond Measure, an atlas of new economics. 
2.    Further information about the Open Meeting on 6 October can be obtained from Robert Hutchison on 01962-870082