In late June, France’s Citizens’ Convention for the Climate came to a close. It called for a referendum on whether to enshrine environmental protection in the constitution, and on introducing a new crime of ‘ecocide’ to the French penal code.
The reports are coming thick and fast now! See the Green Alliance Blueprint for a resilient economy, published 29 June, here.
“We set out the five essential building blocks that would support new long term employment opportunities, thriving businesses and a healthier, fairer society, whilst protecting against the potentially devastating future impacts of climate change and nature’s decline:
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advises the government on emissions targets and reports to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CCC is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
It has just (25 June) published its 2020 report entitled ‘Reducing UK Emissions’, which includes new advice to the UK Government on securing a green and resilient recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. It recommends that Ministers seize the opportunity to turn the COVID-19 crisis into a defining moment in the fight against climate change. For the first time, the Committee sets out its recommendations government department by government department.
The report highlights five clear investment priorities in the months ahead:
- Low-carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future
- Tree planting, peatland restoration, and green infrastructure
- Energy networks must be strengthened
- Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle, and work remotely
- Moving towards a circular economy.
There are also opportunities to support the transition and the recovery by investing in the UK’s workforce, and in lower-carbon behaviours and innovation:
- Reskilling and retraining programmes
- Leading a move towards positive behaviours
- Targeted science and innovation funding
Unfortunately the report has gone large unnoticed because of all the attention focused on the latest information about Covid-19. However, you can download the report here.
Greenpeace have (June 2020) published their report: ‘A Green Recovery – how we get there’.
It is a very readable and practical report, with Contents as follows:
Nature and a Circular Economy
The UK Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change was created by MPs last year. It has just published an interim briefing on Covid-19, recovery and the path to net zero.
The briefing looks at Economic Recovery and Lifestyle Changes.
●79% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “Steps taken by the government to help the economy recover should be designed to help achieve net zero.”
●93% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that, “As lockdown eases, government,employers and/or others should take steps to encourage lifestyles to change to be more compatible with reaching net zero.”
Note: Climate Assembly UK was commissioned by six cross-party Select Committees of the UK Parliament to explore how the UK should reach its legally-binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The assembly’s 108 participants are together representative of the UK population in terms of demographics and levels of concern about climate change.
The final report will be published in September.
At a time when we are negotiating post-Brexit trade deals with the US and others, many people are worried that in future our food may not be produced to the same high environmental and welfare standards that we currently have in the UK. The government has maintained that no compromises will be made but has also rejected parliamentary moves to enshrine this in law.
The NFU has organised a petition about this which you can sign here.
(Taken from the Greenpeace website)
Join our ‘Speaker Shorts’ talks in June
Throughout June Greenpeace is running an exciting new programme called Speaker Shorts. These are free 15 minute talks followed by an interactive Q&A on areas that Greenpeace is campaigning on. From protecting our forests and oceans, to plastics and the climate crisis, Speaker Shorts will give an introduction to the topic and simple things you can do to help!
Speaker Shorts talks will be delivered by members of our Greenpeace Speakers network – passionate and knowledgeable volunteers who know a lot about our work.
The talks will run as a Zoom webinar, which is a secure and private way for you and your family to participate in these fun and interactive talks. You’ll need to download Zoom for free in order to join.
Find out more about each talk and register at the links below:
- 8th June, 2.30pm: Protecting our Oceans
- 22nd June, 4.30pm: Why is plastic not fantastic?
- 29th June, 4.30pm: How you can help save the rainforest from your plate
Young people and students:
- 15th June, 5.30pm: Three ways you can tackle the climate emergency
- 24th June, 12.30pm: Fast food & deforestation – what’s the problem?
Adults and general audiences:
- 17th June, 12.30pm: A green future – what Government need to do
- 19th June, 5.30pm: Three Greenpeace non-violent direct actions that have helped our planet
- 26th June, 12.30pm: Supertrawlers – a supersize problem
South Cambridgeshire’s Zero Carbon Strategy was adopted on 21 May 2020. It outlines how Council will support the district to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reduce them to zero by 2050, including delivering a reduction in their own carbon footprint of at least 45% by 2025, (on a 2019 baseline), and at least 75% by 2030.
More details here.
S Cambs publishes a quarterly Zero Carbon Communities newsletter with the latest news about climate change action both at the Council and within the District. The second issue (with a link to the first) is available here.
See an edited extract from the newsletter about home composting.
The latest Michael Moore film, ‘Planet of the Humans’, written and co-produced by Jeff Gibbs, questions the idea that a future with 100% renewable power is possible. It has been roundly criticised by many in the environmental movement (such as George Monbiot), many of whom are concentrating on a switch to renewable fuels as a way of averting climate change.
Here, environmental economist Tom Smith supports the film and says that the problems go deeper than renewable energy. Our whole way of life and use of earth’s materials, not just fuels, will need to change. As he says, ‘An insatiable system based on renewable energy is no improvement over an insatiable system based on fossil fuels……..If there is to be an end to this madness, we need to end the death cult of capitalism.’
Has anyone seen the film? Depressing? Realistic? Your views are welcome.