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Together Celebrates its First Anniversary

Date
13 May 2008

Unprecedented consumer action is met with new money-saving climate commitments
Business leaders united today behind Together - the UK's biggest climate campaign - to announce a series of new initiatives that will make it easier and cheaper for millions of cash-strapped consumers to take action on climate change.

A unique coalition of CEOs and senior representatives from business, government and civil society attended a climate change summit at Lambeth Palace to mark the first anniversary of the Together campaign.

The meeting coincided with the publication of the campaign's new Savers' Guide at together.com outlining how 'going green' can help people cope with rocketing prices and rising costs of living. The guide reveals an average UK household could save up to 3 tonnes of{CO2} and hundreds of pounds per year on household bills (up to £1,152 per year). Over the next two years, the campaign hopes to help every UK household save a tonne of {CO2}.

Unprecedented consumer action reported in 2007

In just one year, Together has helped British consumers save half a million tonnes of {CO2} and £100million pounds on household bills. This annual saving is equivalent to taking 195,000 family cars off the road for a year, or 4.6 per cent of the UK's annual emissions reductions.(*based on provisional estimates for 2007 announced by DEFRA on 28 March 2008). These savings were delivered by 20 million simple consumer actions including switching to low energy light-bulbs, washing at 30 degrees, installing home insulation, switching to green energy tariffs and not upgrading mobile phones.

In addition to consumer action on climate change, new research released today by The Climate Group and Lippincott shows that a year into the campaign people are now not only clearer about what they can do to tackle climate change (up 11 per cent from 2007 to 59 per cent) but are also more prepared to adapt their lifestyles to tackle the problem (up 10 per cent from 2007 to 36 per cent).

New partners and initiatives announced for 2008

New corporate and civil society partners joining the campaign - including Coca Cola, Warner Bros, MySpace, The National Trust, Business in the Community (BITC) and WRAP - were announced by chair of the roundtable, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow. In addition, founding partners - including B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, BSkyB, Marks & Spencer, More Th>n, National Express, O2 and Tesco - renewed existing commitments to the campaign and announced a number of new initiatives to help a growing number of UK consumers looking for easy ways to tackle climate change and cut household bills.

New CEO pledges include an offer from B&Q to install free loft insulation for 2.7 million Diamond Club members who are over-70; a new insurance product from RSA and The National Trust rewarding people for having more energy efficient cars and homes; new initiatives from National Express to wean people off the plane and onto the train; and a new home insulation service from Tesco which hopes to help up to half a million households save their tonne of {CO2}.

David Hall, Campaign Director of Together, says: "Going green not only helps save the planet but can save hundreds of pounds on household bills. Last year, Together proved individual everyday actions can add up to make a big difference on climate change. Today's exciting new carbon-saving announcements will boost consumer action on climate change at a time when people are feeling the pinch from rocketing prices. Our expanded coalition will bring millions more members of the public into contact with the campaign over the coming months."

Phil Woolas MP, Environment Minister, says: "The green pound really can go further - people can cut their carbon footprint and save money into the bargain. This campaign shows this and I hope it will encourage more people to make environmentally friendly choices. The signs are encouraging. We know that people want to cut their impact on the planet - recycling rates are at a record high, emissions from people's homes are dropping, and since last June we've had nearly a million visitors to our online carbon calculator."

Former UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair who launched the ground-breaking campaign last year also sent the campaign a special message of support, saying: "Climate change is the biggest long term challenge facing our generation and it is only by working together that we can solve it. I helped launch Together last year and it is encouraging to see millions of actions taken by the British public and over 500,000 tonnes of {CO2} saved. We now need to build on this momentum and make it easy for everyone to become part of the solution to climate change, not the problem. This unique coalition, bringing together business, government, civil society and individuals, has the power to do just that, which is why it has my ongoing support in this crucial work."

CELEBRITY FILM PREMIERE: Brown, Blair and Boris unite in new call for climate action

Many well known politicians, business leaders, celebrities and members of the public are supporting a new online film urging public action on climate change. They unite behind the simple message: it is only by working together that we can tackle climate change.

The new short film - Together, We Can - was launched today to mark the first anniversary of the Together - the UK's biggest climate campaign - to highlight that small individual actions can add up to make a big difference on climate change.

UK Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, new London Mayor Boris Johnson and former UK Prime Minister Rt Hon Tony Blair, team up to lead a cast of CEOs, staff and celebrities in the new online film. The film also features international stars and celebrities including: England goalkeeper David James, singer songwriter and activist Annie Lennox, TV presenter June Sarpong and supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

From today, the film can be viewed online at www.together.com and a number of other leading UK websites. The film will be emailed to 1,300 of the most influential UK individuals on climate change and widely distributed online via sites such as YouTube, LondonPaper, MySpace and MSN to generate a wave of popular support.

Watch it at: www.together.com/togetherwecan

NEW CONSUMER RESEARCH (The Climate Group / Lippincott)

. The number of people agreeing with the statement 'It is clear to me what I personally can do to reduce climate change' rose by 11 per cent - up from 48 per cent in 2007 to 59 per cent in 2008.

. The number of people agreeing with the statement 'I am prepared to make changes to my lifestyle to help reduce climate change' rose by 10 per cent - up from 26 per cent in 2007 to 36 per cent in 2008.

. The number of people strongly agreeing with the statement 'Climate change is an urgent issue we must face today' rose by 9 per cent - up from 37 per cent in 2007 to 46 per cent in 2008.

May 2008 figures are based on consumer research conducted with 2,000 people over the age of 16 in the UK commissioned by The Climate Group, and conducted by Lippincott. The comparable 2007 research was commissioned by The Climate Group, funded by Sky and Lippincott, and conducted by Lippincott. Full 2007 research can be found online at here

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NOTES TO EDITORS: Please visit Together.com for more information, photography or interviews or contact Polly Watkinson on +44 (0)207 960 2997 or pwatkinson@theclimategroup.org

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