Major new Count Us In campaign signs up influential tabloid as it seeks to engage one billion people with climate action
A Love Island contestant covered in green body paint may not be a conventional approach to encouraging people to cut their carbon emissions, but that is just one of the headlines The Sun newspaper is deploying this week to try and encourage its readers to join its new Green Team.
The paper yesterday announced it has signed up to the major new Count Us In campaign, which launched last week with a vision to encourage a billion people worldwide to take small steps to curb their climate impact.
Ex-Love Island star Danielle Sellers is just one of the celebrities the paper has enlisted to join The Green Team, which is calling on Sun readers to publicly commit to one of seven pledges that promise to cut emissions and bills: eat more plants, cut your food waste, turn down your heating, insulate your home, switch to green energy, repair and re-use things, and drive an electric car.
The paper also published the results of a poll that shows nearly three quarters of its readers are more concerned than five years ago about their impact on the planet. Moreover, half said they have adopted more eco-friendly practices since lockdown, with driving less and reducing food waste among the biggest changes. However, over a fifth said they did not know what they could to reduce their environmental impact.
The campaign strikes a very different note to some of The Sun's recent leader articles and columns, which have been fiercely critical of some climate policies and have even in the past questioned the extent of anthropogenic climate impacts.
The Green Team is part of the new Count Us In campaign, which is backed by a raft of leading businesses including Ikea, HSBC, BT, and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as football clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Forest Green Rovers, and the Earthshot prize,which was launched by Prince William last week.
The campaign, which is being run by non-profit Do Nation and is being convened by the Countdown initiative that is backed by TED and Future Stewards, has set the headline goal of securing climate action pledges from one billion people globally.
It is inviting participants to select from 16 recommended actions, such as turning down the thermostat, buying fewer new clothes, switching to an electric vehicle, flying less, and writing to politicians to demand bolder climate policies.
Speaking to the Guardian, Chris Anderson, the head of TED, said individual actions could have a major impact on global emissions. "Imagine what the world would look like if a billion people took action to fight climate change," he said. "We can all make a difference by taking simple practical steps."
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