Tag: climate emergency

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.

Shropshire Council still hasn’t put the emergency into climate emergency – I despair at its slow pace

Shropshire Council must have been taking lessons from Sir Humphrey Appleby. You will remember him as the permanent secretary who advised and cajoled the hapless James Hacker. When the politics of the moment were tough and when decisions were stalled by inaction and indecision, Sir Humphrey would recommend a review, a committee, anything that would not disrupt the inertia that drives all bureaucracies towards their natural state of inaction. That is all too often Shropshire Council’s approach to the environmental issues of our day. The council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. But we learnt from Shropshire Council’s scrutiny meeting a week ago that the council’s action plan on climate change will not be considered by the council until September, 18 months after the climate emergency was declared. Any council that took climate change seriously, would have presented its plan at last December’s meeting, or at its meeting in February.

The head of the Environment Agency today made a barnstorming speech on flooding. He is making the right noises about tackling the climate emergency. That’s welcome. But he still thinks housing can be built in high risk flood areas. Sir James Bevan didn’t speak about his own agency applying the lax national planning rules in a lax manner. According to a joint investigation by the Guardian and Greenpeace’s Unearthed news unit, 764 homes in our county are due to built in Flood Zone 3 – which has the highest risk of flooding – between 2015 and 2018. That’s one in twenty homes built in Shropshire.

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.

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