Co-op Fortnight to focus on alternative routes to climate action

The Fortnight, from 24 June – 7 July, follows the Co-op Congress in Birmingham, held on 14-15 June

Co-operatives UK has announced a focus on climate change for this year’s Co-op Fortnight (24 June – 7 July), which follows the annual Congress (14-15 June).

The fortnight will call on co-operators to “demand climate action”.

“Co-op Fortnight is always a fantastic opportunity for our movement to pull together; a time to celebrate co-ops and educate new audiences,” said Co-operatives UK CEO, Rose Marley. 

“In a general election year we’re also using the moment to push climate action firmly back up the agenda. 

“We are past deadlines, thresholds and warnings for the need to take urgent action. We see the impact of climate change around the world and on our shores, threatening lives and livelihoods, supply chains and economies.”

Co-ops will be asked to sign a letter calling on all political parties to prioritise climate action, and members, workers, colleagues, customers and supporters of co-ops will be asked to sign a petition calling on the government “to unlock the power of co-operation to tackle the climate crisis”.

“We need government leadership and interventions,” said Co-operatives UK, “to ensure a level playing field that enables, encourages and incentivises all businesses to take urgent action to achieve net zero.”

Related: Co-ops UK calls for evidence to lobby for change

Graphics, sample copy and posters will be available to download from the apex’s website in May, and reduced rate ad packages will be on offer through a partnership with Reach plc.

“Tell us your stories and prepare your own messaging to share about your co-operative and how you are committed to taking climate action,” Co-operatives UK added.

Before the Fortnight is Co-op Congress, held at the Eastside Rooms in Birmingham from 14-15 June.

Keynote speaker will be Labour / Co-op MP Jonathan Reynolds, shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, who will ends the first day with a speech on the need for co-operative growth, and Labour’s plans for the sector.

Panel sessions include a discussion of collectivism featuring journalist and economic commentator Grace Blakeley, Co-op Group membership and customer officer Kenyatte Nelson, hosted by Co-operatives UK CEO Rose Marley, with more names to be confirmed.

Co-operatives UK executive editor Rebecca Harvey will host a session on the difficulties of communicating the benefits of the mutual model for the economy, workers and customers. Panelists include Co-op Group CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq, with more to be confirmed.

And a session on the potential to grow the community sector, hosted by musician and author John Robb, featuring Younity director Michaela Cryar and Co-op Party campaigns officer Eva Murray.

Congress also features an international supper on the Friday, promising an “exciting mix of UK and international speakers“, with a drinks reception and two-course buffet.