Local, national and international voices raised: calling for #ClimateSense at COP21

World calls for #ClimateSense

We have been let down. By successive governments, at successive international negotiations. But as Amelia Womack reminded us at our joint meeting with Mole Valley Greens last week in Dorking; the COP21 talks taking place this week are important, but just as important are the voices being raised outside.

Peter Sims of People & Planet showed us how much we could burn to be in with a 'reasonable chance' of avoiding dangerous climate change

Peter Sims of People & Planet showed us how much we could burn to be in with a ‘reasonable chance’ of avoiding dangerous climate change

Across the UK, and the world, peoples’ campaigns are growing. Peter Sims, local Green, and co-ordinator of People & Planet Society at the University of Surrey, gave a presentation at our Climate Sense meeting on their fantastic campaign to get their University to divest from fossil fuels.  Similar is happening at Universities across the UK.

Greens in the South East have helped bring together Heathrow and Gatwick campaigners, to demand No New Runways at airports across the region.

Local campaigns against fracking are being launched across the UK. (We’ve seen that people of Lancashire won this battle with their council, and now the government wants to overrule their decision- see below for action you can take!) And we’ve just seen the Environment Agency announce approval of an application for flow testing at the Horse Hill site in Horley, so the battle against onshore oil and unconventional extraction techniques may soon be coming to Surrey. With campaigns growing in our own local area, and with so many residents opposed to fracking, we know that Surrey will be ready!

Green Cllr Jonathan Essex, pictured on the People's Climate March in the 'No New Runways' bloc

Green Cllr Jonathan Essex, pictured on the People’s Climate March 2015

 

Update:  Surrey County Council has now passed a motion proposed by Green Councillor Jonathan Essex, reaffirming their commitment to local action on climate change by signing up to the Local Government Association’s Climate Local initiative.  Greens have also put a similar motion to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, to be voted on at their next meeting.

 

On Sunday, we joined over 50,000 people marched in London, as in other countries, raising their voices to demand real action on climate change. Even those not allowed to protest have found ways of making their voices heard, as in this imaginative action in France.  On the opposite side to corporate lobbyists, we have an increasingly aware public who are Climate march Green picdemanding action from corporations and governments. The Green Party’s energy policy contains common sense ways of reducing our emissions; through improving efficiency and reducing energy consumption, by insulating our homes for example, and by supporting renewables, of the sort popping up in community projects across the UK, despite government attacks on small-scale renewable energy.

It is clear that the changes we need are possible, only requiring the political will. It is great to see so many taking action on the streets the week of COP21, showing that we have the numbers, and we have the will – we can make the change.

Quick actions you can take:

Sign the DivestSurrey petition, asking Surrey County Council to divest their pension fund from fossil fuels

Write to your MP and ask them to oppose airport expansion across the South East

Sign the petition asking the government’s minister for local government to respect local democracy, and not overrule Lancashire Council’s decision to oppose fracking

Join the Green Party and get involved with our campaigns!

 

Learn more about what’s happening at COP21:

Open Democracy: https://opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/cop21-business-fair

Ethical Consumer: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/commentanalysis/environment/cop21andcorporatelobbying.aspx

New internationalist (This media hub is providing a really important platform to voices in the global south, already most affected by, and least responsible for, climate change): http://newint.org/live/2015/10/27/cop21/?utm_medium=ni-email&utm_source=message&utm_campaign=intl-enews-2015-11-26

 

Climate sense 2015

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