We talk to Fiona Dear, Campaign Manager at The Climate Coalition about the Show The Love campaign and how it's inspiring action on climate change.

We’d love to know more about your background. What inspired you to work for The Climate Coalition?

I was originally interested in wildlife and conservation - and I started off studying parrots! When I came back to the UK I became much more aware of overconsumption and waste, and bothered my family so much about saving energy that they suggested I join a climate campaign - which I did. That was 10 years ago and I’m still campaigning to tackle climate change!

Has working for Climate Coalition changed how you live and work? If so, in what ways?

It’s more the other way around. I changed how I lived as I got interested in the issue, and then started working as a campaigner. But working for The Climate Coalition definitely keeps me aware of my environmental impact - which is important otherwise it’s too easy to go for the easier options.

Tell us about the Show the Love campaign. How can people get involved?

Show The Love is an annual celebration of all that we love but could lose to climate change. Featuring public figures from Jeremy Irons and Joanna Lumley to astronaut Tim Peake, supported by institutions from Lord’s Cricket Ground to the National Farmer’s Union, and led by groups from the Women’s Institute to the RSPB, Show The Love has reached millions and inspired the UK public to show its support for climate solutions since 2015.

This year millions of people will harness the power of green hearts to show they care about climate change and its impacts. By getting involved you can help catalyse the action we need from business and from politicians to move towards a clean and secure energy future.

You can get involved in lots of ways:

  • Make a green heart - or hold a crafting session! Find an activity pack now at: www.theclimatecoalition.org/resource
  • Join the conversation about the climate changes you’re noticing around you in the early onset of spring. You can download a checklist and tell us what you found at: www.theclimatecoalition.org/noticingchange
  • Post a picture of you getting involved and wearing a green heart on social media using #ShowTheLove
  • Watch and share our film - this will be live on 9th Feb on the Show the love website
  • Read and share our Game Changer report about the impacts of climate change on our favourite sports. Live from 7th Feb at: http://tiny.cc/thegamechanger

How do you track the amazing impact of the campaign?

Some parts of it are easy to track: We can see the film views, and the amazing tweets showing all the brilliant things that are going on. We can celebrate all the interesting - and unexpected - organisations that have started talking about climate change as a result of being involved with the campaign. We can estimate our online and media reach and the number of events that have been organised, and we can guess how many people wore green hearts during the campaign.

Of course the ultimate aim of the campaign is bringing climate change into the public narrative and have politicians respond. Tracking that is harder for this campaign as they’re big, long-term aims, and we have to go on indicators: We know that the public narrative on climate change has become much more positive in the last few years, and we know that politicians are talking about climate change with much more or a ‘can do’ attitude. Can we claim credit for all of this, no, but we can look at indicators that show we’ve definitely had something to do with it.

Part of Show the Love is about getting out into nature to notice the changes caused by climate change. What have you noticed when you’ve gone out to do this?

I noticed Hazel Catkins in early February - funnily enough I wouldn’t have recognised them if we hadn’t had the conversation about them for the noticing change project!

I also have some daffodils in a pot (outside) which started coming up before Christmas, which I thought was very early.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in getting people talking about climate change?

One of the greatest obstacles to engaging mainstream audiences on climate change is that so many find the concept overwhelming, with solutions seemingly elusive and unachievable. To surmount this, we engage the public by making it tangible, here, now and building an emotional connection with the issue of climate change -- how the people, places and lives we love could be lost to climate change.

GAP’s mission is all about how people can live and work differently to benefit the planet. What 3 tips would you give to someone who wanted to make changes to their life and show their love for the environment?

I’d say:

  1. Think about how you get around - public transport or even better walking/ cycling rather than driving, and cutting down on flights makes a big difference.
  2. Buy local, seasonal food, with as little packaging as possible.
  3. Most importantly, don’t keep it a secret: Make sure politicians know you care enough to make changes to your life, and tell others too - your school or work place will probably be interested in cutting their environmental impact if you can spark their interest.

Find out more about the Show The Love campaign and get involved in spreading the word about climate change.