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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

What does climate change mean to you?

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Road to the sea
#BackClimateAction image highlighting the impact of a changing coastline in Yorkshire
Copyright: Toby Smith for the DECC/Getty Images Reportage
Earlier this week I blogged about how important it is that we have cross-party consensus at the heart of British politics for taking action to tackle climate change. But Government can’t do it alone, just as critical is the need for the whole country to get behind tackling what is a defining issue for the planet.

We must move away from seeing climate change as an abstract problem – something that will impact others. Instead we must acknowledge that this is an issue, which will touch just about everything we do – and everything we care about. For example, Asda recently highlighted the risk to the supermarket business, with only 5% of their fresh produce supply chain immune from the risk of climate change.

To help achieve this ambition, my department has launched a new image competition to encourage you to visualise what climate change means to you. The reason for putting pictures in the spotlight is because of their potential to bring a subject to life – in a way that words often struggle to achieve. By the close of the competition (6 March), we hope to have generated a powerful collection of images that demonstrate the huge range of ways climate change will touch our day-to-day lives.

The concept is straightforward – simply take a photograph that captures what climate change means to you.

But before you get your camera out (or phone…), it’s worth thinking: What do you most want to protect from climate change? Is it the food you eat, your home or where you work. What feeling does climate change provoke? Perhaps it’s uncertainty, challenge or even opportunity. What can tackling climate change achieve? For example, green jobs, new ways to travel and an energy supply that is safe and secure.

Once you’ve chosen your subject and taken your picture, simply upload to Instagram or Twitter using #BackClimateAction and add a short caption that explains how the image links to climate change. For full competition details visit the competition page on GOV.UK.

I’ll be one of five judges, who also include: TV presenter and Professor of Public Engagement in Science, Alice Roberts, Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, Creative Director at Getty Images, Anthony Holland Parkin and Photographer and contributor to @everydayclimatechange on Instagram, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

First prize is a workshop with Getty Images in London. Five runners-up will win a pair of tickets to the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in London and a Getty ‘Year in Focus’ book.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your pictures!

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