Climate emergency – but there’s hope!

Dear Transitioners

We had a lively AGM with our new Chair, Karin Chandler – welcome, Karin, + many thanks to Ann for the last three years.  We celebrated all that we achieved last year, + came up with suggestions about what we should be doing in the coming year to make it even better.  At our meeting next Tuesday – 18 December, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – we will hone down to a calendar of events though, as well intentioned as this may be, there are bound to be diversions along the way.

And – there is reason for good cheer.  People around the world are taking on board the recent IPCC report which states, in no uncertain terms, that the world has to get to grips with averting catastrophic climate change.  We have just 12 years in which to do this.  We can each individually do our bit, but it’s Governments + corporations that must undertake huge changes.  At COP24 – the UN climate change conference in Katowice – things aren’t going as well as we had hoped with the major oil producers USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia + Kuwait scuppering the adoption of this crucial report.  They have been dubbed as ‘climate villains’ by the rest of the world, but it leaves 189 member states endorsing the report.

In the meantime, around the world, climate change protests have erupted.  The Extinction Rebellion started with a rally in Parliament Square on 31 October but numerous other rallies have already been held in the UK + the movement has spread to 35 other countries.  A rally was held at COP24 last week with several thousand climate campaigners from a host of different nations in their act of ‘peaceful civil disobedience’ aimed at policymakers who are failing to take appropriate action.  We have local XR branches in Abergavenny + Hereford – each with a Facebook page if you would like to get involved or email Rob Proctor at robsproc@hotmail.com.

Locally, last week the Forest of Dean District Council unanimously approved a climate emergency motion – full text at the end of this newsletter.  Well done, FoD!  Now to get all the councils in Monmouthshire to adopt similarly, the County Council too, + all the other councils in the land!  For a start we are working on this with our local Councillors + hope to bring you good news soon!

We would also like to follow the lead set by Cambridge City Council + South Cambridgeshire District Council – both are supporting the transition to zero carbon by 2050 (as compared to a national target of an 80% reduction) in their next local plan.  The design of new homes, transport links, waste + recycling services, energy supplies + land use will all be taken into consideration.  Again, something for MCC to consider in their new Local Development Plan?

We have recently hooked into a weekly email that summarises new + soon to close Welsh Government consultations with hyperlinks to each – https://beta.gov.wales/subscribe/consultations – and we are keeping an eye out on Extended Producer Responsibility – well, we’re doing what we can to cut down on waste but what about the producers?  They will only do it if it costs them – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/11/retailers-to-pay-up-to-1bn-more-for-recycling-under-waste-strategy?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3sI613p4iohfWknwKMaU7ggr_CQH6z6uR-kvKwX7iJ460hfHDjH0hltIE

And a post-Christmas thought when you are ready for a bit of fresh air + exercise.  Charles Boase has well-rotted, year-old leaf mould for collection free of charge from Vauxhall House.  Phone 01600 715076 to arrange collection.

So – just a couple of dates for your diaries to round off 2018:-

Members’ Meeting + the Year Ahead:  Tuesday 18 December, 7.30 at the Robin Hood to mull over the suggestions made at the AGM + forge ahead with a calendar of events

Christmas Day:  The Robin Hood, in good community fashion, is putting on a free Christmas dinner for those that could do with a roast dinner, good company, + some cheer – but it’s a lot of work, + it costs.  Can you help? – prepping on Christmas Eve, driving on Christmas Day, sponsorship or donations?  Also, do you know someone who would like to have that Christmas meal?   Please email mail@transitionmonmouth.org with offers or suggestions.

Thank you all for giving Transition Monmouth a great 2018.  We hope to see you on Tuesday at the Robin Hood to plan an even better 2019!

Vivien Mitchell
transitionmonmouth
creative community action…for life after oil
mail@transitionmonmouth.org
https://transitionmonmouth.org/

Facebook:  Transition Monmouth, Transition Monmouth Chat, Wyesham Community Woodland, Plastic Free Monmouth

Motion put to Forest of Dean District Council by Cllr Chris McFarling on 6 December 2018:-

MOTION – To declare a climate emergency

Full Council notes:-

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise.  It informed us that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. Refs 1, 2
  2. The World Meteorological Organisation in their annual bulletin (November 2018) state that carbon dioxide levels hit new highs of 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015, levels not seen for millions of years. They warn that “the window of opportunity for action is almost closed”
  3. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people
  4. Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C from pre-industrial levels and they are still rising rapidly, with impacts being felt around the world today
  5. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050
  6. In order to reduce the very real risk of runaway global warming and the dramatic impacts on the global environment, society and us as individuals, it is imperative that we take the boldest steps to reduce our CO2 emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; Ref 3
  7. Society needs to help individuals reduce their own carbon emissions by changing its laws, taxation, infrastructure, policies and plans, to make low carbon living easier and the new norm
  8. Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption
  9. For these reasons, authorities around the country and the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency now

Full Council acknowledges that:-

  1. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority
  2. To meet the urgent challenge outlined in the IPCC report, we all have a part to play.  It is important for us all in the Forest of Dean that the local district council commits to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;  FoDDC needs to take a lead and act now
  3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide)
  4. The Forest of Dean is well-placed to champion rural decarbonisation.  The district has huge carbon sequestration potential with 27,000 acres of public forest estate (21% of the total district area), and abundant clean renewable resources (solar, wind and tidal lagoons) to become 100% self-reliant on zero-carbon energy.

Full Council calls on Council to:

  1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’
  2. Aim to make the Forest of Dean District Council and the district carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3), Ref 4
  3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to successfully meet the 2030 target
  4. Work with other councils and organisations (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C; Ref 5
  5. Work with partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources
  6. Produce a fully costed action plan to meet the carbon neutral target by 1st July 2019

References:

  1. World Resources Institute:  https://www.wri.org/…/8-things-you-need-know-about-ipcc-15-…
  2. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC:  https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
  3. Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017:  http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php…
  4. Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained:  https://www.carbontrust.com/…/scope-3-indirect-carbon-emiss…
  5. Bristol https://www.theguardian.com/…/bristol-plans-to-become-carbo…?

Manchester https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/…/ambitious_climate_change…?

The motion was passed unanimously – yay!

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