Online only: see update 18/08/21

14 September 2021

We've reduced the courst prices - see here.

Training alert: updated here

Carbon Literacy courses

WITH THE United Nations conference on climate change coming up in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November, journalists will - more than ever - need to understand the issues. The COP26 gathering is formally the twenty-sixth "Conference of the Parties" - the "Parties" being the states that have signed the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and now the 2015 Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

London Freelance Branch is therefore encouraging members to do the "carbon literacy" courses offered by Branch member Susi Arnott. These courses usually cost £75 - or £50 to trade union members. If you can't manage that, we suggest that Branch members ask to sign up for £30.

There are two sessions available to book now:

  • Friday mornings, 30 July and 6 August register
  • Wednesday afternoons, 18 August and 25 August register

Carbon Literacy?

The Carbon Literacy Project defines carbon literacy as "an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and of the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis."

Graphic showing carbon budgets of various activities

The carbon footprints of various activities

Susi adds: "Declarations of Climate Emergency, such as those made by some UK local authorities, need be followed up with real change. For this to happen, individuals and organisations must be informed and motivated; people need to be carbon literate."

The training sessions include:

  • Some of the science behind the slogans (what is a greenhouse gas, and how many are there?)
  • Understanding jargon, metrics and targets (when is it tonnes, or temperature?)
  • Frameworks for prioritising, assessing, and communicating action to minimise global heating

Learners take Part 1 at their own speed (60-90 minutes) before Part 2 brings the cohort together for group activities.

Part 3 involves further independent work, preparing for Part 4, a second group session, and certification.

Follow-up materials with more context, data sources, videos and links remain available to all learners in a stand-alone resource.


  • "… you were very interactive and made me feel at ease (don’t really like zooming)"
  • "…mix of quiet reading and digesting independently and group activities and discussion."
  • "Really enjoyed the interactive nature of all the sessions. Thanks again for the awesome training."
  • "Carbon Literacy Training has had such a positive impact on conversations I’m having with everyone"
  • "Hopeful and practical – which is what we need to be."


The course is accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project, which is based in Manchester: home to the industrial revolution, and now to Carbon Literacy itself. Successful learners are certified "Carbon Literate" (an internationally recognised qualification since the United Nations COP21 conference in Paris in 2015).

Please see the registration links at the top of this page. For more information, email Helen Hague, one of the London Freelance Branch Training Officers.

Graphic showing carbon footprints of various countries

The carbon footprints of various countries

  • 5 August 2021: the graphics illustrate carbon footprints.