The thing that surprised me about the most important issue in the world, was how few people were talking about it.Globally there were extreme weather records being smashed, hurricanes destroying communities, droughts, wildfires and heatwaves. Yet the silence around climate change was so deafening, I decided to make some noise.
I’ve spent 20 years as an environmental scientist and expert in clean energy, with degrees in environmental science and technology. But my work on the ground, developing and financing renewable energy projects was getting harder and harder as government barriers to making real change increased.
I knew I had to take a stand, so I quit my job at a solar energy company in autumn 2017.
It was a big decision – I had three young children and bills to pay – but I knew I had to share my expertise because the harm we are causing is irreversible. Speaking with friends, I realised they wanted to do more to protect our environment, but they didn’t know where to start, or felt overwhelmed by the issue. But if we all make, simple changes to our lives then together we can bring about huge change.
In April 2018, I founded One Home. It’s the first ‘one-stop-shop’ website giving practical, cost-effective solutions to help people go green and adapt to extreme weather events, such as floods and heatwaves.
Having a website which explains simple, easy steps to a greener, safer future was great, but people had to find it. As a scientist I had no contacts in the media or budget for ads. But following a tweet I wrote about the election of President Trump, an editor at the Huffington Post asked me to write an article about women and climate change. That was my first experience of working with the media, and I felt energised and empowered.
‘The economic recovery from Covid is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure a sustainable future and the public are fully on board’
Since then, I’ve become a regular media commentator as an expert on climate change and all things green. I’ve appeared on BBC World News, Sky News, LBC and BBC 5 Live as well as regional titles, magazines and national newspapers like the Daily Mirror. I’ve reached an estimated audience of over 260 million people.
I was a member of The Sun’s Green Team, securing a week of consistent climate coverage. We even suggested asking Sir Paul McCartney and Jeremy Clarkson for their views on the environment so Jeremy wrote a remarkably green column – for a petrolhead.
I’m also a founding partner of Count Us In, the global campaign launched by Chris Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra at Ted’s Countdown to mobilise a billion people to take action because what people do matters.
The economic recovery from Covid is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure a sustainable future and the public are fully on board. Now is the time to tackle climate change. In November the UK will host the biggest, and most important, meeting in its history, when the UN climate change conference, COP26, comes to Glasgow. The climate action plans submitted so far would barely make a dent in the huge cuts in carbon pollution needed to meet the UN’s global climate goals!
On the plus side, the UK has nearly halved their greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 and created many skilled jobs along the way. The faster we act the better and the more we prepare, the less damage will be done.
At One Home we have pioneered engaging the public on solutions to tackle climate change, and we’ve helped to break the silence on the climate crisis. One Home provides support for people to find the motivation and the know-how to act now so we can protect what we love, before it’s too late.