The past year’s Climate Emergency movement dates back to Green Councillor Carla Denyer’s successful motion in Bristol last November. It passed unanimously. Since then, many councils have used Carla’s motion as a model, including its target to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Green World has previously reported that over half of principal local authorities in England and Wales have declared Climate Emergencies, and a large number of parishes and town councils have done so as well.
Greens have been at the front and centre of this movement. The Association of Green Councillors has co-ordinated and provided invaluable resources, and you can find model motions, advice about tactics and how to get councils to commit to drawing up Action Plans for rapid decarbonisation online.
Greens have also been working cross party. We’ve been gathering signatures to trigger debates in council (e.g. the 10,000 signatures in Wandsworth); working with colleagues in other parties to get motions submitted; and mobilising help from Extinction Rebellion, Youth Strikers, Friends of the Earth – in fact from anyone who shares our aims. Hell, many of us are members of Extinction Rebellion, Youth Strikers or Friends of the Earth.
The new Action on Climate Emergency (ACE) campaign adds a new dimension. It recognises what Green councillors have achieved, and organises members to support them by publicising, lobbying, scrutinising local plans, going to open council meetings, working in local organisations and mobilising friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Local parties will set up ACE action groups to help get Climate Emergency motions passed, with serious Action Plans attached, and make sure those plans are implemented. (What’s the use of passing an Emergency motion if you continue to support airport expansion, as in Bristol?). The ACE campaign website will offer resources and act as an information hub.
The Campaign’s three goals are:
For all councils to declare a Climate Emergency. Get your council to declare and to commit to a serious carbon reduction plan, with a target of carbon neutrality by 2030.
Make it real. Make sure your council publishes its Action Plan and gets on with immediate implementation.
Take it national. Get the government to work with local authorities to meet the UK’s climate commitments and kickstart a Green New Deal.
Exactly what the local groups will look like, who will be in them and what they will do depends on local conditions. No Green councillors? Ten of them? Just one or two? Each situation calls for different tactics. At a meeting at conference on Saturday 5 October at 9 am, repeated on Sunday 6 October at 9am, we’ll have a small panel from the core campaign group who have been trialling various ways of organising for several months now.
When they’ve reported, we’ll get into small groups facing similar challenges to discuss our local ways forward. Join us! Or if you won’t be at conference, contact Britta Goodman or Caroline New, Campaigns Co-ordinators, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ACE campaign will be launched at the Conference in Newport at 12.30pm on Saturday 5 October.