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Climate Change Petition Call

By Ray Cobbett, from Havant Friends of the Earth
Published in the Portsmouth News on the 6th July 2019

 

The Town and Country Planning Association recently highlighted the importance of local councils in galvanising cross-community action to coordinate the response to climate change in their areas.

Almost 100 local authorities from Bristol to Brighton, Chichester, Portsmouth, Winchester and Hampshire County Council have either declared climate emergencies or are debating whether to do so.

The reasons are plain enough because councils control or influence planning and development, transport, waste disposal, public land, health and the environment.

Towns such as Gosport and Fareham, parts of Portsmouth and Havant have more than 50 kilometres of low-level coastline and are in the front line of climate change. They also face finding space for tens of thousands of new homes, many in flood plains.

It is not a simply the challenge of future-proofing new development against flooding, but protecting our life support systems, clean air and water, recycling waste and leaving enough space to co-exist with other living things.

Some argue Britain is ahead when it comes to managing climate change so we should leave it up to other countries to catch-up.

We are the first country to deliver a Climate Change Act in 2008 but also the first to have an industrial revolution – the consequences are still working through global weather systems 200 years later.

Friends of the Earth is one of many groups working to petition for a formal declaration from Havant and other councils to recognise the urgency of taking actions to mitigate the impact of climate change on areas over which they have control or influence.

Measures include committing to a net zero emissions by specific date, setting up a working group of councillors, businesses and citizens to produce an action plan with scrutiny and key indicators to track progress.

Evolution or business as usual is too slow to deal with the worst effects of a warming planet.

Sign the petition to Havant Council at http://tinyurl.com/havclimate-petition

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