My department has funded the Energy Saving Trust since 1992, to promote the sustainable and efficient use of energy in the household sector. Our grant for the current financial year is £27 million. The trust is an independent, private company that plays an important role in helping the Government to meet their climate change targets. The trust runs programmes to promote energy saving in the home, including television advertisements, a network of 52 local advice centres and the endorsement of energy-saving products. The trust also provides information about grants and offers that are available to help implement energy-saving measures in homes. More information is available from the Energy Saving Trust website at www.est.org.uk/myhome/.
We need to raise levels of public understanding and change attitudes to climate change as a central part of the wider climate change programme. This is the focus for our climate change communication initiative, which was launched in December last year.
Defra has made funding of £12 million available for the whole initiative and, so far, £4.8 million has been allocated to 53 Climate Challenge Fund projects. These projects, from across England, will form part of an innovative new approach aimed at raising awareness at regional and local level of the urgent need to tackle climate change.
Under the climate change communications initiative the Government are providing additional support, including guidance for communicators, a website (www.climatechallenge.gov.uk), and free-to-use resources such as short film and radio advertisements.
As a further element of the initiative, earlier this year we ran a competition to choose nine young climate change champions, each from a different region of England. The winners, who were chosen in May, will spend a year spreading the word to their region about climate change and the role that young people can have in tackling it.