Tag: climate emergency

Is Greta right? Has COP26 failed?

It has been a week of announcements. A week of ambitions. And a week of ambiguities. And according to activist Greta Thunberg, COP26 is nothing other than “blah, blah, blah” and has failed. Is that really the case? It’s rather imperialistic to argue that the countries that are trying to build their per capita wealth and standards of living should now pay for the sins of the most developed countries. The developed countries are responsible for most of the increases in atmospheric carbon. They are richer and have the ability to pay. But the reliance of countries like India and China on coal for electricity and the lack of commitment from Russia risks swamping small countries. Quite literally. There have been achievements on forest clearance, on a mixed bag of net zero targets and on financing. But even if countries keep to their pledges, it still doesn’t stack up to keeping global warming to 1.5°C.   One of the first headlines from the week was a commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. Even Brazil, one of the main offenders, signed up. That will be a great achievement if it is delivered. Countries also made…

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New council leader Lezley Picton announces a pothole cabinet but will it get to grips with the climate emergency?

The Conservatives retained their majority on Shropshire Council in the 6 May elections despite loses of seats and its leader. On Thursday, the council appointed Lezley Picton, previously cabinet member for culture and waste. She will be the first female leader of Shropshire Council. There is some evidence that we have moved on from the Shrewsbury-centric obsessions of former leader Peter Nutting. But in her first day in the job, Lezley Picton outlined business as usual. Although she a promising a “pause and reflect”, the council’s most controversial policies – spending millions more on the shopping centres, demolishing Shirehall, building the North West Relief Road and the pushing through new local plan – she is not proposing to scrap the plans. The appointment of Cecilia Motely to head up transport, tourism and communities may bring a more rural perspective. And for the first time the cabinet has a member dedicated to the climate emergency and green economy.

Shropshire Conservatives can’t be trusted with the environment or democracy for that matter

The Conservatives have been window dressing their commitment to climate change for a long while. But their policies and actions are as rotten as the compost heaps at the bottom of many people’s gardens. Most Conservatives on Shropshire Council don’t get climate change and don’t get that tackling it is a local emergency as well as a national and international emergency. Their approach to development is fossil fuelled, building huge new roads such as the North West Relief Road and lusting to extend the M54 into Shropshire. They worry that going green will damage the economy not realising that the future of our local economy and of economies everywhere is green. This needs to change. Whoever is in power after today, the council leadership must appoint a cabinet member to whose sole responsibility is tackle the climate emergency, greening the council and greening Shropshire’s economy.

Shropshire Conservatives refuse to support the Climate and Ecology (CEE) Bill but set up a committee to tell them how to think

Why should you do something today when you can do it tomorrow, even if you should have done it yesterday? That is the attitude of Shropshire Council’s Conservative members when it comes to tackling climate change. Why should they rush to deal with an emergency when they can take a gentle stroll?   The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is currently languishing parliament. But support for the bill, which sets out what priorities the UK needs in place to meet its climate change targets and tackle the ecological crisis, is strong. That’s why a cross-party motion to give an expression of support the bill was tabled at Shropshire Council yesterday. But the council’s portfolio holder for climate change kicked the motion into the long grass, supported by a fellow Conservative who complained about the potential costs to the council of the bill. How much does an expression of support cost? Failure to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies will cost us our planet.

Shropshire councillors must support the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill tomorrow

Shropshire Council has given a commitment to tackle the climate emergency. In parliament, a private members bill is moving towards its second reading next month. It aims to strengthen the government’s resolve and actions to tackle the growing climate emergency and the devasting loss of biodiversity. A motion tomorrow will ask the council to support the bill. It will be a test of Shropshire Council’s resolve. Is it up to the mark on tackling the climate and ecological emergencies? Will the whipped Tory majority reject it? Council leader Peter Nutting is in the camp that wants to fudge climate change commitments. But his portfolio holder Dean Carroll has a stronger belief in the need for change. It is over to Dean to deliver tomorrow.

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