By signing petition to Council declaring climate emergency
Glyn Goodwin with Di McCann
A Wandsworth-wide petition urging Wandsworth Council to declare a Climate Emergency is gathering momentum.
Launched by Wandsworth resident Glyn Goodwin and the local Green Party, the petition has found widespread support from local schools and businesses, and is aiming to reach the 10,000 signatures required by an end date of May 6th for a full council debate to be scheduled.
Constituency Lead for Putney & Southfields Wandsworth Green Party, Di McCann, told this website: "Air pollution is still at illegal levels around Putney. But there are solutions. One of the ways both climate change and air pollution can be tackled at local level is to decarbonise transport: make ‘active travel’ an easy choice with attractive streetscapes and public spaces where walking and cycling is prioritised over driving, and where mass public transit is cheap or even free. Children could play in our streets again. Deliveries would be made by electric vans or cargo bikes and the huge cost to the NHS of treating air pollution and inactivity-related illnesses would vanish. Air pollution on Putney High Street really would plummet to a genuinely safe level. Two huge problems solved. And it could even revitalise our failing high street!’
The initiative follows in the footsteps of country-wide declarations, which have already seen Bristol, Manchester and London as well as many local councils declaring Climate Emergencies and pledging to drastically reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. In October 2018 a special report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world had only 12 years to take the action necessary to preserve a chance of limiting global warming to ‘well below' 1.5°C. Without immediate and drastic action to cut emissions the report warns that the world is on course for global warming significantly above 2°C, leading to climate breakdown with almost certain catastrophic global consequences for all living species including humans.
The IPCC reported that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.
The petition aims in essence to break the existential problem into manageable chunks and for Wandsworth to plan to ‘do its bit' for the local community.
‘A thermometer does not measure politics' in the words of climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe.
Glyn Goodwin told this website: "Fossil fuel has helped us create the world we see around us, but the other side of the equation is that climate breakdown will occur on the 'Business As Usual' scenario and the change will be so profound that civilisation itself is at risk. That is the challenge we need to face up to".
One signatory said: "We have to do something more drastic about climate change, it's our children and grandchildren who will suffer because of our gross negligence. The time to act is now before it's too late."'
With CO2 at a higher level than for the last 3 million years, higher than has ever been seen by humans, it certainly is a daunting problem. The longer we leave it the greater the cost of fixing it.
Many Councils around the country have been rising to the challenge of global warming by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency' and we ask that the Government gives Wandsworth the powers and funding to enable the 2030 carbon neutral target.'
The e-petition is here: ipetitions.com/petition/Wandsworth-Climate-Emergency
along with further information at the facebook group ‘the10000' facebook.com/groups/327742181199950
April 15, 2019