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Climate Weak

An e-mail trail with a certain amount of political content…

from: Kate Shepherd
date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010
subject: Climate Week

Hello Jo

It was lovely to speak with you today about Climate Week and I’d be grateful if you could pass on the information to the rest of your team.

Climate Week, 21st – 27th March 2011, is a new national occasion on climate change, backed by the Prime Minister, Al Gore and Kofi Annan. During Climate Week, thousands of events will be run by organisations from every part of society to highlight the positive steps being taken to help prevent climate change.

I have attached a document for further information, the document includes a list of supporters of Climate Week, which range from every part of society: from the Chief Fire Officers Association to the Women’s Institute, the Girl Guiding UK to several Regional Development Agencies.

The organisations backing Climate Week have added their names to the growing list of organisations backing Climate Week, they are encouraging their networks and members to get involved in Climate Week and are starting to think about some events/activities they can run.

Kevin Steele, the founder and CEO of Climate Week, sits on the steering committee for David Cameron’s Big Society and founded Global Entrepreneurship Week and National Family Week. The Climate Week model – with thousands of events all over the UK – will inspire those wanting to do their bit and promote those who are already doing their bit.

In November we are holding a stakeholder event in Westminster for the directors of the organisations supporting Climate Week – I will keep you posted and also let you know as soon as our website is launched (at the beginning of September).

It would be fantastic to add XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX to the growing list of supporters of Climate Week and speak about other ways you might be able to get involved.

I look forward to hearing from you

With very best wishes

Kate Shepherd, Head of Campaigns, Climate Week
Telephone (direct line) +44 (0)203 397 2602
20 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 4QH, UK

Dear Kate,

Several members of the central coordinating group in XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX have noted with concern that EdF and RBS are mentioned as sponsoring Climate Week in this article here :-

Electricite de France and Royal Bank of Scotland are engaged in producing and financing dirty old “conventional” energy, both in Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power.

If those are the companies being referred to by the acronyms “EDF” and “RBS” in the article, it is possible that XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX as an organisation are possibly going to object to having our name associated with Climate Week.

Could you please confirm or deny the rumours, so that I can appraise my colleagues of the facts of the matter.



from: Kate Shepherd

Hello Jo,

We began work on Climate Week just over two months ago and have been busy putting together a website (due to be launched in October). There is currently a very limited amount of information available online – although that is soon to change, I’m sorry if you have been searching.

There are 7 of us here in the Climate Week office, and in only a short time there are over 100 national networks supporting the initiative, including several faith communities.

Climate Week is the idea of social and environmental campaigner Kevin Steele. Throughout his career, Kevin has dedicated his energy to social justice. He conceived the anti-poverty Trade Justice Movement, he led one of the two largest sections of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, he founded Global Entrepreneurship Week (this year there were 35,000 events in 88 countries) and co-founded National Family Week, the Uk’s largest coalition on family issues. Kevin sat on Gordon Brown’s Social Action Group and currently sits on Cameron’s Big Society steering committee.

Kevin conceived Climate Week with the belief that all other social gains will be wasted if we do not collectively address climate change. For the last two years he has been working behind the scenes, gaining support from figures such as David Cameron, Al Gore and Kofi Annan.

We are also thrilled to have four mainstream sponsors of Climate Week for our independent campaign. All four of the sponsors are part of the national make-up and all four are taking positive steps towards a low-carbon Britain.

I would very much like to invite you and some of your committee to our networking event in Westminster on the 8th November so you can speak with other supporters and get a feel for this inclusive national occasion. The event is for the leaders of all supporting organisations and those organisations wanting to learn more. I will send you an invitation in the next week, could you let me know the names of any other colleagues who might like to attend?

Best wishes


from: jo abbess

Dear Kate,

Could you please be more precise about the four corporate sponsors you have for Climate Week ?

It is very important for my colleagues to know before we can assent to be linked to this project.

If the Royal Bank of Scotland are, as reported, one of your sponsors, then I’m sorry to say that there will likely be strong objections from my colleagues, as due to publicity from Climate Camp, RBS are now well-known in the public perception as being the financiers of major global Fossil Fuel projects, and we might well decide we couldn’t risk having our position compromised by being associated with this.

Electricite de France is viewed by some energy activists as a many-headed Hydra of spin, compromise and unfulfilled promises, and their adherence to burning coal is regarded as a sign of the deepest hypocrisy. Their CEO Vincent de Rivaz has apparently been campaigning for a long while for governments to support a new round of Nuclear Power plants by permitting higher energy prices, which some view as potentially yet another public bailout for privatised atomic energy (which clearly remains “uneconomic”).

EdF’s “Green Britain Day”, according to some things I have read, has been ridiculed as a pathetic attempt at shoring up public support for their business.

For EdF and RBS to sponsor a public feel-good Climate Week could be considered the ultimate “free advertisement” to prop up the ailing and failing Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Power industries.

The funds that EdF and RBS would be making available for Climate Week, as sponsors, if they are sponsors, could be said to be a very cheap way to generate positive public relations for their private enterprise.

If these companies were really serious about Low Carbon energy, then they would direct their own capital and financing powers towards Renewable Energy, a truly sustainable solution to both the Energy and Climate crises (and help with the Economic one, too).

Anything else could be described as flim-flam, an attempt to paper over the cracks.

In April, in the Gulf of Mexico, people saw what happened when a major energy company experienced engineering problems in producing ever-more-difficult Fossil Fuel resources.

“Conventional” energy is not getting any easier.

Germany has agreed to extend the life of their nuclear power plants, but at what risk ?

All it will take is for yet another French nuclear reactor to fail over winter because of maintenance mishap, and for the Media to decide to cover the story properly, for EdF and other nuclear operators to entirely lose their green credentials, permanently.

If RBS are sponsoring Climate Week, you should expect that some quite vocal people will react to Climate Week as if it is merely an exercise in corporate propaganda.

On these bases, I think it is reasonable for you to be completely transparent about who is behind Climate Week.

Thank you,


Dear Jo,

Thanks for your email and giving Climate Week such serious thought. Our four sponsors, EDF, RBS, Aviva and Kelloggs are marked on all of our marketing materials (I have reattached our flyer).

Our website is due to be launched in October when more information will be available in the public domain.

With best wishes


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