South West climate survey reveals tidal wave of South West action as climate bill announced!
on Thursday 08 Nov 2007
type: Press Release
topic: The Environment
region: South West
SW Campaigners today welcomed the news that the Government will introduce the first legal obligation to drive down carbon emissions of any country in the world as a new SW survey reveals a massive surge in community activity across the region to meet the challenge of climate change. Campaigners are concerned that if the UK is to really to set an international lead, the bill must be strengthened to commit the UK to at least an 80 per cent reduction in UK carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, rather than the proposed 60 per cent. The Government has taken a big step; but campaigners insist that the government should have the courage of its convictions and make UK the first country in the world to deliver emissions cuts in line with the need to keep global warming under the danger threshold of 2 degrees C”.
The respected Tyndall Centre state that If industrialised countries only delivered a 60% C02 reduction target, and ignored aviation and shipping, we will see a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C
The survey carried out by Friends of the Earth with funding from the South West Regional Assembly shows that there are well over 250 community groups in the region who are tackling climate change. Between them these involve over 25,000 people, giving their time and effort almost entirely voluntarily. While many of these are established branches of national organisations, over 80 of them have formed since 2005, mostly as independent groups. This survey backs up the I Count campaign, the UK's largest climate change campaign, with its new online I Count Community Groups Map which also highlights growing activities undertaken all over the UK.
Mike Birkin, South West Campaigns Co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth, said;
“The scale and breadth of this activity shows how great is the public’s appetite for positive action on climate change. It should encourage all South West politicians to show leadership and put their weight behind a strong Climate Bill”
Jane Laurie for the South West Wildlife Trusts said
“We knew that there was a lot of concern and activity here in the South West, but we’ve been surprised at just how much of it this survey has uncovered.”
Roger James for Oxfam SW said
“This massive grassroots rise of local action is very welcome for It is the richest countries which have predominantly caused the increase of carbon in the atmosphere, yet it is the world’s poorest nations who will suffer the most catastrophic effects. Such concern is vital, this is not only an environmental issue, but is also an issue of global justice and humanity. Poverty cannot be fought without tackling climate change.
EXAMPLES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVITY BY COMMUNITIES IN THE SOUTH WEST
Environmental Education: Developing and offering a 12 week Renewable Energy Course - Transition Penwith, Cornwall
Energy Supply: Establishing a not-for profit company who has installed a community Wind Turbine to provide Renewable Energy and conservation grants - South Wheatley Environmental Trust, Cornwall
Peak Oil: Oil vulnerability audits with local companies - Transition Town Totnes, Devon
Waste/ Energy Supply: Biodiesel production from local waste vegetable oil that is then supplied to local business, delivery and passenger vehicles. This has reduced CO2 emissions by over 40 tons in less than 2 years and also diverted nearly 2 tons a week away from landfill - Bridport TLC, Dorset
Transportation: Leading a Walking Bus to our local Primary School involving 32 children and running 3 times a week, thus saving potentially 60 car journeys - Holy Trinity EcoCongregation, Bristol
New Developments: Calculating the emissions from Bristol Airport were it to expand as planned and galvanizing objections from the community - Stop Bristol Airport Expansion Campaign
Wildlife Adaptation: "Wildlife Highways" to join up nature reserves so that wildlife can migrate North in response to Climate Change – Gloucestershire
Christian Aid has marched through the SW on the ‘Cut the Carbon’ March. Glastonbury Festival working with Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid supported the’ I Count’ campaign this summer- collecting a massive 70.000 signatures
For further information contact:
Mike Birkin, Friends of the Earth South West, 0117 9420128 (office); 0778 7722987 (mobile)
Jane Laurie 01380 729218
Roger James Oxfam SW 0117 916 6473 mobile 0778 6660422 email email@example.com