Category: Environment

Climate change meetings in February – it’s time we put the emergency into declarations of climate emergency

People and organisations are at last getting on with tackling the climate emergency. But there is still more talk than action. Too much talking up achievements rather than recognition that we have barely begun tackle the problem. There is a lack of commitment to early dates for going carbon neutral. A few organisations are talking about going carbon negative. Shropshire has been in the slow lane but that is changing. We need to push the pace of that change. The council is finally making steps towards addressing the climate emergency. But it is making steps not strides forward. There are two climate emergency meetings coming up in Shropshire during February. Please add any other meetings to the comments on this article.

Climate change, reducing speed, shopping centres and fireworks on Thursday’s Shropshire Council

Back in May, Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency. Officers have been working to draft council policies to make tackling the emergency a priority. Now, climate is set to be one of the main topics on the full council meeting on Thursday 19 December, with a petition and a council paper. A Lib Dem and Green proposal to double the tree cover in Shropshire is also on the agenda. There will be a discussion about the long awaited replacement of streetlights with LED lights. 20mph limits outside schools and on resident streets will also be discussed. Among other items, the Lib Dems have tabled a motion on better organised and quieter fireworks to protect animals and children. The meeting will finish with a discussion of the council’s Shrewsbury shopping centres and purchase of a property in Oswestry. This debate will be held behind closed doors.

Shropshire Council sets out its climate strategy as COP25 looks like becoming COPOUT 25

In May, Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency, though the council’s leader refused to commit to any urgency. Cabinet members, councillors and council staff have shown a greater commitment to tackling the biggest issue of our age and the biggest issue for generations to come. The newly published route map to a Zero Carbon Shropshire only really deals with a Zero Carbon Council (Agenda 6). And it says an ambition of net zero council by 2030 may not be met. The Shropshire Climate Action Partnership agreed in May has still not been set up. After six months, I would have expected more. Meanwhile, in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, the world’s annual climate summit COP25 looks like it is going nowhere. (Update: It did prove to be COPOUT25.) We must convert the hot air talked about acting on climate change into action on reducing emissions. We are stewards of…

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Planting millions of trees to be on Shropshire Council agenda 19 December

We are struggling to save trees. Our record in Ludlow is appalling. Trees have been lost with abandon on the conservation area. More than 100 decent trees are to be felled on Foldgate Lane. Hedges have been netted ahead of being cleared.  We are denuding our landscape. We need to turn this around. We are in a climate emergency. We face a biodiversity crisis. We must plant at least ten trees for every one we fell. Let’s plant a huge forest. First, we need to get the political and bureaucratic support. That’s why Lib Dems and Greens have tabled a motion at next Thursday’s meeting of Shropshire Council. It calls for doubling of Shropshire’s woodland cover. We hope it will get unanimous support from councillors of all parties.

Hurrah! Ludlow Town Council to buy Sidney Road Green for a nominal sum and protect it forever

I became quite emotional as I walked home from Ludlow Town Council last night. My route took me across Sidney Road Green. The whole town has been trying to save this green space from development for five years. But five bungalows were approved and the green space was slated to be destroyed. Despite light pollution, I could see the outline of Taurus above the Norway Maple as I walked. As the ground began to freeze underfoot, I could imagine a great future for this space. More trees. Wildflower meadows. Bee corridors and more. This is no longer a figment of my imagination. Last night, Ludlow Town Council agreed to buy the green space from the housing association for the nominal sum of £1.

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