Cathy, is in her 50's, lives in Cardiff and has been passionate about the planet and our environment since she was very young. She started learning about the connection between caring for our planet and how politics can support or hinder this, as a teenager. Grassroots movements to help protect nature have been around for a very long time and yet here we are at a crisis moment. However, she feels that the tide is now turning. She currently works supporting people who are homeless, but in the past she has been directly involved in facilitating community activities, particularly creative projects. She has also been involved in promoting understanding of the natural world and ways to get involved.View all ambassadors
She loves gardening, upcycling and getting out and about outdoors. She has volunteered in the past such as building bee banks and beach cleaning. As well as her interest in protecting the land through planting trees and encouraging pollinators, she is deeply concerned about the state of our seas and oceans due to plastic pollution, whaling and aggressive bottom-trawling industrial fishing. She believes that bottom up, not top down solutions are what is needed for us to succeed in protecting our planet and environment.
In your view, what do our leaders here in Wales, the UK and around the world need to do to solve climate change?
In Wales, leaders need to listen to the voices of individuals and communities, to understand what is needed locally. Policies, laws and initiatives need to be flexible and adaptable to different circumstances. Wales is a hugely diverse nation, encompassing landscapes from the sea to the mountains. Projects must enable individuals, families and community groups to be involved, to help make those changes. Increase space for people to grow their own food, build houses (that are energy efficient) with gardens not tower blocks. Create more allotments and community growing spaces. Provide funding for local initiatives. Green up our urban landscapes – there are many, many possibilities for doing this.
On a UK level, there needs to be acknowledgement of and adaptation to the fact that the current pandemic has highlighted a lot of hidden or previously ignored issues. How we build housing, change transport links, where we work and so on, all need to be reviewed. Leaders need to grasp the nettle and accept that change is inevitable.
On a global level, Wales should strive to become an initiator, and innovator, leading the way by doing, not just talking. The way to achieve this is at a grass roots level as well as at a national level.
Why have you become a Climate Cymru ambassador?
Many of my generation have been asking for robust changes to protect our environment – and thus ourselves – for decades. I am excited about this new initiative to ensure this is done through leaders listening to everyone’s voices, allowing us all to be a part of that change.
As a nation, what do you feel we need to do to truly influence change?
Walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
What makes you optimistic for the future with regards to climate change?
The majority of us want to see change. Collectively we can achieve this when we work together.
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