What is Carbon Literacy?

Our vision | Meet the trainers | What is Carbon Literacy?

What is Carbon Literacy?

Carbon Literacy is described by the Carbon Literacy Project as:

An awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities
and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions,
on an individual, community and organisational basis.

As a certified training organisation, all the courses we present have been reviewed and approved by the Carbon Literacy project, meaning you can be sure of their factual integrity and scientific accuracy.

What does a Carbon Literacy training programme look like?

Typically, training is delivered online or in person over two four-hour sessions. It is the belief of the Carbon Literacy Project that anyone should be able to learn the basic facts about climate change in one day’s worth of teaching i.e. around eight hours.

Training is a combination of presentation-style teaching and interactive discussions. Rather than lecture the audience for eight hours, there are plenty of opportunities to discuss ideas with fellow participants and provide feedback to the trainers. Carbon Literacy is not about providing a deluge of facts and figures, but giving people the opportunity to explore the implications of what they have learned and brainstorm ideas on coming up with solutions. This helps to ensure that what they have learned will not be quickly forgotten.

Pledges and certificates

At the end of the course, participants are asked to fill in a form detailing two pledges about how they will put their knew knowledge into practice and start making changes to reduce emissions in their life or in the wider world. There is an individual pledge, which is an action they can take individually to reduce emissions, and a group pledge, which is an action that they will do in conjunction with one or more other people to make emissions reductions on an even bigger scale. Participants must state whether each of their pledges will have a low, medium or high emissions reduction.

All pledges will be reviewed by the Carbon Literacy Project to make sure that they are realistic and demonstrate a clear understanding of climate change and emissions. Participants do not automatically pass; if there are issues with their pledges then they will have to write them again so that they pass. Once a learner has been successful with their pledges, they will receive a certificate to show that they are officially Carbon Literate.

As well as ensuring that participants understand what they have been taught about climate change and emissions, the pledges are a way to make sure that real action is taken as a result of attending Carbon Literacy training. It means that every person trained equates to a certain amount of emissions reductions. The Carbon Literacy Project track how many people have been trained, how many tonnes of emissions have likely been saved, and more.


Get in touch to find out how Speak Carbon Collective can help you facilitate Carbon Literacy.