Where has the time gone since our last newsletter? – hopefully you have all had a happy + welcome break from the daily routine + are feeling refreshed + ready for action! We have a very busy January in store, starting with:-
Training for non-violent direct action: Saturday 5 January, 10 till 2 at the Abergavenny Community Centre: Training for those looking to get involved with Extinction Rebellion events. Please indicate on https://www.facebook.com/events/2246745938935193/ if you would like to attend or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a similar event in Hereford on Sunday 6 January, 10.30 to 4.30 at De Koffie Pot; please indicate on https://www.facebook.com/groups/Xr.hereford/ if you would like to attend – but don’t worry if you can’t make these – there will be more dates in the coming months
Members’ Meeting + the Year Ahead: Tuesday 8 January, 7.30 at the Robin Hood to continue with our plans for the year ahead. We will also devote time to RECS – our flood prevention project; this has come to a crunch point + we need to make some decisions on how, if at all, we take this forward
Nature Isn’t Neat: Monday 14 January, 12 o’clock at the Shire Hall. This is a pollinator project that we are undertaking in partnership with Monmouth Town Council + Bees for Development. Items on the agenda will include project launch (probably in March/April), development of literature for children (+ their teachers) + for households, + identifying areas around town that could be made pollinator friendly. If you know of any or have ideas (currently the planting at St Thomas’ Square + round the cenotaph at St James’ Square are top of the list) please let us know, or else come to the meeting – all welcome!
Climate Change Champions – the Climate Emergency: Wednesday 23 January, 7pm at Bridges Community Centre. We have amended the Climate Emergency motion passed by the Forest of Dean to make it relevant to Monmouthshire, + at the meeting we will have Roger Hoggins (MCC Head of Operations) + Mark Hand (MCC Head of Planning) to discuss the measures that MCC can take (+ how we can help them) to:-
- Make Monmouthshire carbon neutral by 2030
- Produce a fully costed action plan by 1 July 2019 to meet the carbon neutral target
All welcome for this very important meeting. The proposed draft motion is copied in below.
Wassail in Abergavenny: Saturday 26 January, 3pm onwards at the Laurie Jones Community Orchard
Wassail in Monmouth: Sunday 27 January, 3pm for a 3.30 start at the Community Orchard on Two River Meadow. We cleared the land + planted the orchard, starting on 1 September 2009. It’s a lovely place + the trees have thrived but it’s little known – hence the Wassail to raise awareness, + hopefully enjoyment. The idea is to make a lot of noise to awaken the trees so bring any instruments you may have + your vocal chords. We will serve apple cake + apple juice (any donations welcome). Park in the Blestium Street car park; then walk along the Monnow, under the A40, past the allotments, + you’re there. Waterproof footwear is recommended, + since the area is bounded by two rivers, parents must at all times take care of the safety of their children.
Eden Project + the South East Wales Communities Network: Tuesday 29 January, 5pm to 8pm at Bridges Community Centre: This is the first meeting of the group for community leaders to share experiences, talk about the challenges + celebrations, discuss new ideas + come away energised with fresh perspectives + local supportive connections – so please spread the word to other community groups. The event is free but please book your place with www.eventbrite.co.uk South East Wales Communities Network.
Community Engagement Event: Thursday 31 January, 4.30 to 7.30 at Monmouth Comprehensive School: Together with other local community groups we will be showcasing + hopefully spreading the word – set up starting at 3.30. If you can help to set up our stall or staff it please contact email@example.com.
Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 12 February, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – more details next time.
And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30
Thank you all once more for making 2018 so fruitful. 2019 looks like it will be even more eventful! We hope to see you on Tuesday at the Robin Hood + some of the other events too maybe?
creative community action…for life after oil
DRAFT MOTION FOR MCC: To declare a climate emergency
Full Council notes:
- 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
- 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”
- 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
- 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
- The world is on track to overshoot the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050 and exceed 3oC by 2100
- 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
- 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
- Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption
- 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:
- 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
- To meet the urgent challenge outlined in the IPCC report, we all have a part to play. It is important for us all that Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) commits to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible; MCC needs to take a lead and act now
- Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as meeting the Well Being of Future Generations Act requirements which supports local people, future generations and the global community)
- MCC is well placed to champion rural decarbonisation. It has already announced that its pension funds will be divesting from fossil fuels, it has some of the best electric charging infrastructure in Wales and has the potential to become 100% self-reliant on zero-carbon energy
Full Council calls on Council to:
- Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’
- Aim to make the county of Monmouthshire carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3) – Ref 4
- Call on MCC to incorporate measures such as the design of new homes, transport links, waste and recycling services, energy supplies and land use in the new Local Development Plan
- Call on Westminster and the Welsh Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to successfully meet the 2030 target
- Work with other councils and organisations (both within Wales, the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C – Ref 5
- Work with partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources
- Produce a fully costed action plan to meet the carbon neutral target by 1 July 2019
- World Resources Institute: https://www.wri.org/…/8-things-you-need-know-about-ipcc-15-…
- The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
- Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php…
- Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained: https://www.carbontrust.com/…/scope-3-indirect-carbon-emiss…
- Bristol https://www.theguardian.com/…/bristol-plans-to-become-carbo…?