Climate change: Louise Haigh MP uses new technology help bridge Sheffield's political divides

Residents and businesses across Sheffield are being asked to take part in a new technological experiment to share their views and comments about what the city can do around the climate change debate.
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Louise Haigh MP is bringing the ‘experiment’ straight from Seattle into the heart of Sheffield’s political debate – and says she hopes it will help repair some of the city’s civic divides.

The new digital platform asks people to say whether they agree or disagree with a comment in relation to climate change. It will then group people by how they have responded with the aim of bringing like-minded comments and thinking together.

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The Sheffield Heeley MP says it works in a different way to social media in that it will help people work out what they have in common rather than what might divide them.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh. Picture Scott MerryleesSheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh. Picture Scott Merrylees
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh. Picture Scott Merrylees

Building on last year’s Big Green Conversation, where Sheffield residents and businesses gave their views on what needed to be done both locally and nationally to tackle climate change, Ms Haigh says she will now work with more local people to help develop solutions to the issues that it identified.

These include:

More and better access to public transport, that is cleaner, greener and affordable – encouraging drivers out of their cars. Working with businesses to challenge waste and recycling practices and encourage more environmentally-friendly methods. Creating community nature champions and more community gardens. Encouraging more schools and hospitals to provide vegetarian or vegan meals on their menus.

Ms Haigh said: “We have a once in a generation opportunity to lead the way on tackling climate change and to introduce bold and forward-thinking green policies, we can’t afford to lose this opportunity.

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“I want as many people as possible, especially those who may not already be engaged in the climate debate, to share with me their thoughts and views on the priorities and issues. The good thing about this platform is that it takes the debate away from traditional social media which can often sow division and toxicity.

“When I held my Big Green Conversation event last year – ahead of COP26, I heard from some very passionate and engaged people who are working hard to address the climate crisis. I also met with many young people who are equally engaged and are working hard to protect their futures.

“I want as many people as possible to engage with this conversation. If we’re going to move forward to address the major issues of the day, then we need to build consensus. I’m asking people to please be as radical, off-the-wall or cautious as they like, we want this to be a space where everyone feels free to say what they think, and we can build a programme for change together.”

To take part, visit: