We got through a hectic January OK including the loveliest Wassail complete with a Mari Lwyd (who came all the way from Brecon) out at our Community Orchard in the sunshine + apple cake + hot apple juice. It was the first Wassail in Monmouth for many a decade, + about 70 happy children + adults attended. Thank you to all who made it possible. Now for February + March ……….
We have been working hard in preparation for MCC to pass (hopefully unanimously) a Climate Emergency motion in April – latest text at the end of this newsletter together with some links to further reading. We want this to govern the new Local Development Plan, the Corporate Plan + all other plans/actions by the County Council, + then spreading out to all town + rural councils, businesses, organisations, community groups + individuals. We have set up a Climate Emergency Monmouthshire Facebook page + group to keep you informed of progress + for discussion of the issues.
We have our Members’ Meeting next Tuesday (12 February, 7.30 at the Robin Hood) when Steve England from the Art of Sustainability will be talking to us about “Well Being, the Heart of Sustainability: Experiential methods bringing sustainability alive to explore the potential that the tools + methodologies of sustainability offer in strategy, team building + leadership skills”. This sounds really interesting – all welcome! – the Art of Sustainability operates from the magical sculpture garden in Tintern. We will also do a bit more planning for the year ahead.
Then there’s the Plastic Free Monmouth (PFM) party to celebrate our PFM group’s efforts in achieving Plastic Free status, as defined by the Surfers Against Sewage criteria, for our town. All welcome at Monmouth Priory on Friday 22 February from 6pm to 8pm. It would be helpful, but not essential, if you could email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend. We got a good article in the Monmouthshire Beacon this week + a pic of us at the Usk Show.
Now – how about a bit of visioning? What will Monmouth be like in 2040? What do we want it to be like? How can we adapt + what can we do to make it the way we want despite climate change? We will be hosting a Climate Ready Gwent workshop on Thursday 7 March in the Shire Hall from 6pm to 9pm. If you want to be one of the lucky 40 people attending – with light refreshments to keep your energy levels up – please book your space with email@example.com. We also really want to know of your experiences of the changes you have seen over the decades in the seasons, the weather + the natural world. If you can’t attend the workshop, please email this information to me. There will be a second session, principally for groups + organisations, on 21 March.
Here’s the diary for the next few weeks:-
Wassail at Old Lands: Saturday 9 February – PM #wassail or #keepingtraditionsalive for further details + to make sure there is enough soup + mulled apple juice
Meditation Retreat with Lama Chodrak: Sunday 10 February, 10 till 4.30 at the Lam Rim Buddhist Centre – to reserve your place phone 01600 780383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature Isn’t Neat: Monday 11 February, 12 o’clock at the Shire Hall – our pollinator project in partnership with Monmouth Town Council + Bees for Development – all welcome to help develop the campaign
Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 12 February, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – “Well Being, the Heart of Sustainability” + planning for more events
All Things Community: Eden Communities Get-Together in Powys: Friday 22 February, 11 to 4 in Crickhowell – register with Eventbrite
Plastic Free Monmouth – Celebratory Party: Friday 22 February, 6pm to 8pm at Monmouth Priory – all welcome, but, if you can, email email@example.com to say you are coming
Climate Ready Gwent: Visioning Monmouth in 2040 – + what we can do to mitigate the problems of climate change: Thursday 7 March, 6pm to 9pm. Numbers limited so please reserve your place with firstname.lastname@example.org; light refreshments will be served
Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 12 March, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood – our Incredible Edible Herb Garden, project updates + plans
In Our Hands – the story of farmers who refuse to be victims of history as they bring back the worm to the soil, the ‘culture’ to ‘agriculture’ + flavour to the tomato: Wednesday 13 March, 7.15 at the Abergavenny Community Centre followed by discussion
Climate Ready Gwent: Visioning Monmouth in 2040 – + what we can do to mitigate the problems of climate change: Thursday 21 March, 6pm to 9pm. This is a session for primarily for the agencies, including Monmouth Town Council. Numbers limited so please reserve your place with email@example.com; light refreshments will be served
And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30
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
MOTION to the Full Council of Monmouthshire County Council: TO DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY
Full Council declares a climate emergency: We recognise that preventing catastrophic global warming must be humanity’s number one priority
In making this declaration, Full Council notes:
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018, confirmed that:
- Human-induced warming reached approximately 1°C above pre-industrial levels in 2017, increasing at 0.2°C per decade. Human-induced global warming has already caused multiple observed changes in the climate system
- A 1.5°C rise will result in multiple negative impacts, including increases in frequency, intensity and/or amount of heavy precipitation in several regions, and the majority (70%-90%) of warm water (tropical) coral reefs that exist today will disappear
- A 2°C rise will result in much more severe harm, including increased frequency of severe weather events, droughts, floods, higher sea level rises, crop failures and destruction of land and marine eco-systems. Risks of water scarcity are projected to be greater at 2°C than at 1.5°C of global warming in some regions
- With current strategies, the world is on track to overshoot the 1.5°C limit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement before 2050 and exceed 3oC by 2100
- It informed us that limiting global warming to 1.5oC may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities
- 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)
- Monmouthshire County Council 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, and also the potential for the development of hydrogen production and technologies
- Councils across the UK and the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency now
To put this declaration into action, Full Council calls on Council to:
- Declare a Climate Emergency
- Aim to make the county of Monmouthshire zero carbon by 2030 taking into account emissions from both production and consumption
- Accelerate steps towards reducing the carbon emissions of MCC’s own operations (including offices, schools, leisure facilities, transport and environmental services) to net zero before the Welsh Government’s target date of 2030
- Develop a strategy and costed action plans within six months of adopting this motion that aim to deliver these targets
- Revise the Corporate Plan, Well-Being Plan, Local Development Plan and other relevant plans and policies in support of the above
- Call on the Welsh Government and the UK Government to provide the necessary powers, resources and technical support to successfully meet the 2030 target
- Publicise this declaration of a climate emergency to residents and businesses in the county and encourage, support and enable them to take their own actions to reduce their carbon emissions in line with this our ambition
- Work with partners across the county and with other councils and organisations in Wales, to help develop and implement best practice methods in limiting global warming to less than 5ºC
- 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…?
https://climateemergency.uk/ – link to other Authorities declaring climate emergencies
An article from the journal Nature which suggests why the IPCC report is too conservative. It suggests we may be on course to breach 1.5ºC by 2030 not 2040. So we really do need to make sure this motion takes this into account – https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07586-5?sf203760975=1&fbclid=IwAR35Dfm0P8eHa2eYTA-2gwud_VDXFL9lrYN4yknfDfouBbyIz0l0t-VPQro
2019 is expected to have one of the biggest rises in CO2 due to less plant growth due to drier weather conditions, another feedback loop – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46989789
Oceans are warming faster than the IPCC reports recognise – https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/01/11/oceans-are-warming-faster-than-we-thought-scientists-suggest-we-brace-impact/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.948d933567ae
Marine energy investment disincentivised – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-47042871?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c52ew8q50z2t/wales-business&link_location=live-reporting-story