Headlines: July 12th, 2005

Eleven local authorities in the north west of England are working together and
with the think-tank Sustainability Northwest for a campaign on climate change in
the region. It is being devised for the ‘Manchester: Knowledge Capital’
partnership by locally-based communications agency, Creative Concern, and will
use a new Defra strategy on how get across the global warming message.

The campaign will include a wide-ranging survey of local people’s attitudes to
energy and the environment, an awareness campaign highlighting what climate
change means for Manchester’s people and businesses, a design manual and a
special set of campaign visuals as well as a ‘dissonance jamming’ strategy to
place green energy messages in everyday places. Dissonance Jamming is the
process of placing eye-catching images in front of someone about to take an
everyday decision that is counter-intuitive and which they know is not right.
Examples in this case include leaving a TV on standby, driving the car to the
corner shop or dropping litter.

It is part of a wider plan for a ‘green energy revolution’ for the Manchester
city region, which includes the cities of Manchester and Salford and the
boroughs of Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and
Wigan as well as the ‘drive-to-work’ areas of High Peak, Congleton,
Macclesfield, Vale Royal and Warrington.

As part of the wider plan a feasibility study looking at measures to cut
greenhouse gas emissions is being conducted by a consortium led by consultancy
Quantum Strategy and Technology. The study should be completed in September,
and the communications campaign will be one of its first outcomes. The Knowledge
Capital partnership, which includes the city’s higher education establishments,
will then lead delivery of the ‘green energy revolution’.

The communications campaign is seen as being central to the task of convincing
companies, large organisations and households across Greater Manchester to play
their part in radically reducing their carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas
emissions. The campaign is being built around Defra’s recently-published
strategy on communicating climate change.

Cathy Garner, chief executive of Manchester: Knowledge Capital, said climate
change was a grave threat and a challenge which Manchester’s minds were well
suited to meeting. “We have to bring about a sustainable energy future, that
much is certain, but we’re also using it to build, stretch and celebrate our
knowledge economy here in Manchester,” she added.