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Actress Emma Thompson has joined forces with Friends of the Earth to urge Guides, Brownies and Senior Section members across the UK to become Climate Champions by reducing their carbon footprint and taking part in a project to find out the real barriers that stop people from leading greener lives.

The project is part of the Girlguiding UK: Changing the World project launched today (23 September) by the Countess of Wessex.  The project will involve half a million girls and young women in a year of community action in the lead up to Girlguiding UK's centenary celebrations.

Friends of the Earth is inviting Guiding units across the country to trial a series of green solutions - from switching appliances off standby and fitting energy-saving light bulbs to taking greener transport, installing solar panels and better insulating their homes - and asking to hear how they get on.

Four lucky Climate Champions representing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be chosen from participating units across the UK to present the results to environment ministers at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen next year.

Thompson, who is a former Guide herself, and who recently starred as Professor Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), said:

“Becoming a Climate Champion with Friends of the Earth will enable girls and young women to take effective action on climate change – the biggest challenge the planet faces."

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Girlguiding UK members all around the country to learn more about their carbon footprint, cut emissions and help make a real difference to their own lives and everyone else’s lives now and in the future.”

Friends of the Earth’s Youth and Education Coordinator Vicki Felgate said:

“The interest we have already had in this project from Guiding units across the UK is extremely encouraging and shows young people want their voices heard on the environment."

“The onus is now on Government to act. The solutions are out there - and to tackle climate change they must be within everyone’s reach.”


‘Be a Climate Champion’ is an exciting new youth project being run by Friends of the Earth as part of Girlguiding UK’s centenary celebration, ‘Changing the World’, launched today (23 September) by the Countess of Wessex.

The project aims to give members of Girlguiding UK a voice on environmental issues – a voice that will be listened to by Government. By taking practical action to tackle climate change and trialling a range of lifestyle changes, the girls will help Friends of the Earth work out ways the Government could make it easier for families all across the country to lead greener lives.

For information on the project and how to register, please see


If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.


Published by Friends of the Earth Trust