Having watched the film, ‘The Climate Race’ which shows the why and how of reducing carbon emissions to zero, participants discussed their top local priorities and personal intentions in response.
Proposed local plan priorities
• Priority to retro-fitting housing with insulation to reduce domestic emissions and fuel costs, which would benefit residents directly and also create local accessible employment.
• Council to facilitate free assessments for householders to provide guidance, plans & proposals for home owners & tenants to follow, as funds become available, to implement the works to reduce domestic emissions.
• Promote local and community renewable electricity generation given the need to massively increase the production of electrical power to replace other dirty sources, including facilitating local grids.
• Apply zero emission standards to all new buildings and refurbishments.
• Council Tax reductions for energy efficient homes also being conditional on supply being from renewable sources, as incentives.
• Establish extensive ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ throughout the borough to provide local benefits of low pollution and safer streets to residents.
• Announce a specifically dated commitment to the ending of parking permits for fossil fuelled vehicles across the borough in line with the government targets to end sales by 2034 and support the provision for neighbourhood level electric vehicle clubs/hubs.
• Create integrated safe cycling infrastructure across the borough to facilitate safe and healthy carbon free travel for all. Covid lockdown has shown that if there is opportunity for safe cycling, it will be used.
• Since over 30% of carbon emissions globally are from food, promote local sourcing and locally run food businesses & include effective waste reduction for food businesses within their licencing terms.
• Ensure Council services and schools use green supply chains & produce, as a condition of contract.
• Ensure protection and preservation of allotments and all current green spaces, in public & private ownership through planning protections.
• Increase street tree planting and create new mini forests including re-wilding Warren Farm.
• Ensure widespread and effective public education and publicity to enable the plan to be seen as necessary, possible and positive for all.
Personal actions and commitments included:
• Joining with local groups and networks to work for the implementation of the Climate and Ecological Action Plan.
• Engage directly with the Council’s consultation on the Climate & Ecological Action Plan to support and develop it.
• Share own commitment and energy with family, friends & neighbours.
• Engage with my local councillors to ensure their active support for the Climate Plan.
We have now received the latest draft strategy paper drawn up by Ealing council following on from their declaration of a climate and ecological emergency last year. A version of the current strategy paper is available for download here as the full report, with appendices one (strategy matrix) and two (engagement plan). This is a working version of the strategy paper on which Ealing council are keen to consult.
Please do review the council’s proposals and let us and/or the council’s Climate Action Team have any feedback. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jo Mortensen from Ealing Council here. Many of the initiatives recommended by the council will require further development into projects, with specific resources and timescales in the coming months.
Details of our early post on this subject are available here.
Join us on Monday 29 June 2020 at 7.30pm to 9.00pm for an on-line screening of the ClimateRaceFilm, a film discussing the challenges we face in the UK to transform our society and economy, and build a thriving carbon zero future for all.
As with our virtual event last month, if you would like to take part please email us at email@example.com. This will help us gauge interest and means that we can send you a Zoom invitation for the event. During the meeting, we will watch the film together for 45 minutes, and have 45 minutes after for discussion.
The film is presented by Dr James Dyke of the University of Southampton and co-chair of Sustainability Science Southampton, and involves contributions from heavy-hitters such as Kate Raworth (author of Doughnut Economics and Senior Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute), and Paul Allen, principle investigator at Zero Carbon Britain.
The film highlights the urgency of our predicament, and notes that while we have the technology we need to thrive (the QE2 reservoir solar array and the Westmill Energy Farm Cooperative are inspiring examples), we cannot rely on technology alone to save us. Our current economic model, which demands growth at all costs, is not sustainable, and proposals to limit temperature rises to less than 2 degrees C under the Paris Convention already rely on technology not yet proven at scale.
However, there is hope, and the film stresses that in charting a safe path to the future our individual and collective actions are very much part of the solution. In Kate Raworth’s words, ‘the economy is constantly evolving, and we can all be like little butterflies that trigger off a bigger effect’ for the better. ‘We are not just consumers. We are citizens, neighbours, demonstrators, voters, and volunteers’, and can build up a critical mass for change.
The film and associated website showcase a number of things individuals can do to build up the necessary critical mass, and we hope that you will find them inspiring. “We have everything at our disposal. The question is do we have the will?”