Climate Change

The WI has a proud history of taking action to protect the environment. As a founding member of The Climate Coalition, we work to protect what we love from climate change, and lobby politicians to prioritise tackling the issue.

A green heart on a white background. Below it reads #ShowTheLove

Coronavirus Update

Across all of society, COVID-19 has created a huge amount of upheaval.

The environmental sector is no different. The immediate response of environmental organisations was to halt their public campaign work in order to give people time and space to adjust and respond to the new public health arrangements. Many events had to be cancelled or postponed, including COP26, which was due to be held in Glasgow in November 2020.

As public health measures gradually start to change, it is clear that returning to business, as usual, is unfeasible & unsustainable, and will entrench policies and practices for decades to come- policies which are already unfit to achieve the Government’s own target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Dealing with the looming economic recession and the climate crisis needs to happen in tandem. The Government cannot afford to prop up the UK’s economy whilst locking in high carbon emissions and racking up further environmental problems.

The NFWI is proud to join with The Climate Coalition and other environmental organisations & campaigners to support the call for a ‘green’ economic recovery. This is one that will invest in climate and nature-friendly infrastructure; put nature on the path to recovery at home and abroad; and climate policies that support the most vulnerable communities overseas.

To support this discussion,, over 100 WI members joined with more than 13,000 people on the 30th June 2020 taking part in the first virtual mass lobby for climate, nature and green recovery. Members asked over 280 MPs to support policies that would invest in a green recovery.

This was a huge success, but we are clear that this was only part of the journey on the long road to a world-leading net-zero economy.

All across the Women’s Institute, WI members and staff stand ready and willing to play our part to secure a green future fit for the 21st century and beyond.


A large group of women/WI members standing together outside holding up banners/placards at the Climate Change Mass Lobby

Be it cleaning up our beaches or standing up for the honeybee, the WI has a long and proud history of taking action to protect the environment.

In recent times, more and more WI members have decided to take action on climate change.
Climate change is already affecting the things we love and can be seen through extreme weather events like increased flooding, summer heatwaves or droughts. It is changing our seasons, disturbing the journeys of migrating birds and affecting crops and flowers.

What we have achieved so far

As a founding member of The Climate Coalition, a group of over 150 organisations including The National Trust, WWF, and RSPB, we work to protect what we love from climate change and lobby politicians to prioritise tackling the issue.

Working with campaign partners like The Climate Coalition, the WI successfully pushed for the Government to commit to a net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions. In June 2019 the Government committed to net-zero by 2050. The WI is now working to hold the government to that promise and to make net-zero a reality.

On 26th June 2019, over 200 WI members joined the "Time is Now" lobby in Westminster to speak to their MPs about protecting the environment from climate change. On that day, we were part of the largest environment lobby in history, with 12,000 people attending and over 350 MPs lobbied

Watch our highlights video from the day:

On the 30th June 2020, the WI joined with organisations across The Climate Coalition and beyond to organise the first virtual lobby for climate, nature and green policies.
Over 100 WI members joined the 13,000+ people who took part in the virtual lobby from the comfort of their own homes and asked over 280 MPs to put in place policies that will guarantee a green economic recovery.

Members who would like to be more formally involved in the WI’s environmental campaigns may wish to consider getting involved with the WI’s Climate Ambassador scheme.

Show the Love

WI members turned Valentine's Day green once again this year by taking part in the Climate Coalition's "Show the Love" campaign. Throughout February, members across the country organise green heart craft workshops, discussions and displays and give out green hearts at their meetings.

Although things may look a bit different this year, you can still show the love for people and planet. Our Show the Love 2021 action pack is full of ideas for you and your community to show the Love from your own homes. Request the pack here.

A felted green heart


Over the coming months, the WI will be continuing to work closely with The Climate Coalition to get ready for the rescheduled COP26 in Glasgow. COP26 still remains an unprecedented opportunity for charities, organisations and individuals to help play their part in urging the Government to take strong climate action and to help the UK become a global leader on climate change. We are keen for the WI to be at the forefront of these efforts and look forward to working with The Climate Coalition and the wider environmental sector to achieve this.

How you can get involved

  1. Sign up for a "Community Climate Action" resource pack. This pack has everything you need to get ready for COP26, including information about The Climate Coalition’s ‘community declaration.’
  2. Members who would like to be more formally involved in the WI’s environmental campaigns may wish to consider getting involved with the WI’s Climate Ambassador scheme.
  3. Keep up to date on our climate campaigns by subscribing to the PA Digest below.

If you are not already a WI member, the members decide the WI campaigns through a democratic vote. We would love to welcome a new WI member, please click here for further details.

Subscribe to the Public Affairs Digest

The Public Affairs team has created a monthly e-update on all the latest WI campaigning news. If you would like to receive the Digest please subscribe here.

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