Question 20/21

Question:

I’m writing to ask you to make the council’s climate action plan as robust as possible.

I’m deeply concerned about the extreme weather we’ve experienced this summer. The UK is now getting hit by floods and heatwaves, sometimes within days of each other. Across the world, climate breakdown is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events and disasters like flooding and wildfires, which are already devastating communities and the planet. The recent IPCC report was described by the UN Secretary-General as a code red for humanity.

The government has recently committed to cut the UK’s carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. This will require concerted action at all levels, including councils, which have an invaluable role to play in tackling climate change. I appreciate the need for more support from national government, but councils have powers to make rapid and decisive change on this urgent issue. The choices made now will decide whether future generations live on a safe and habitable planet. Instead of facing an increasingly bleak and turbulent future, our local council could be responsible for a climate action plan that lowers carbon emissions, implements green jobs and creates a cleaner, less polluted local environment that promotes physical and mental wellbeing.

In this decisive year, when the international climate talks are being held in Glasgow, I’m asking for a commitment from you as my local councillor to help ensure the council climate action plan is robust and is implemented effectively. The council has already demonstrated its leadership by producing a climate action plan.

Friends of the Earth has created resources to help. You can see how your area is performing on climate and nature issues using the Near You tool: https://foe.uk/1mz09. And you can use Friends of the Earth’s template 50-point Climate Action Plan to give you more ideas about how our council can take climate action: https://foe.uk/t5lku.

Much like the climate emergency, the pandemic has affected the most vulnerable, at home and abroad. So implementing a robust climate action plan can also help COVID recovery plans by stimulating the economy, creating jobs, lowering fuel bills and increasing wellbeing. The policy choices made right now and in the next few years will be decisive in playing our part to tackle the climate crisis.

I look forward to hearing from you. (16/09/2021)

Answer:

Thank you for your letter requesting the Council make the Council Climate Action plan as robust as possible.

The Council is equally concerned about the changes experienced in weather patterns, across both the UK and globally. This is why the Council has Climate Emergency as its top priority on the Council Corporate Plan and an Environment Strategy in place, and the Council will use all the tools and resources at its disposal to progress actions in a timely manner.

Climate Change is a complex subject and the Council wishes to be as sure as possible that their action plans are based on sound data and reliable technology. The existing Environment Strategy, and related actions, will be regularly reviewed in line with changes to government legislation and fresh data, to ensure they are as robust and effective as possible. (17/09/2021)