Aberystwyth Town Council to declare a Climate And Biodiversity Emergency

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• We ask that Aberystwyth Town Council Declares a Climate & Biodiversity Emergency, reviews our position in line with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and addresses how individuals, families, communities, organisations and businesses may navigate the local and global challenges we are facing.
• We ask that Aberystwyth Town Council begins a 6 month consultative process whereby individuals, families, communities, organisations, businesses and other relevant stakeholders can express concerns, receive feedback and otherwise engage in an honest conversation that will allow us all to thrive, and ask that the Local Resilience Forum be proactive in reaching out to the wider Aberystwyth Community.
• We ask that Aberystwyth Town Council plans to bring Aberystwyth to net zero carbon in the shortest possible timescale, with plans for health, transport, local economy and agriculture that will maximize benefits to local people whilst reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere.


Why an emergency? What’s the problem?

Here in glorious West Wales we are used to harsh weather, and are no strangers to strong winds and heavy rain – or even the occasional snowstorm or heatwave.
However, you may well have been seeing more extreme weather more often in recent years, both here in Wales and in news reports from other parts of the world which are being affected far more seriously - from wildfires in the US to devastating floods in Asia, landslides in South America and drought and crop failures across Africa and southern Europe.

Changes to the global climate in the last 200 years, and especially in the last 30-40 years, have been greater than all the changes scientists (studying evidence in the geological record) have detected over the past 10,000 years. The pace of change is constantly accelerating, and real-time measurements show that the predictions of climate-modelling supercomputers have consistently underestimated this rate of change.

We are also asking Aberystwyth Town Council to acknowledge the sixth mass extinction of Planet Earth that is underway. This is also recognised as being anthropogenic (man made) and ways to protect and regenerate our environment must be central to the discussion. An estimated 200 species are lost per day which if it continues at this trajectory, this gives us just over 89 years before the planet is devoid of all life, including us.

To give a conservative indication of timescale, scientists expect the climate in Spain and Italy to look like that of present day North Africa by 2070 or sooner, with widespread desertification affecting the region as the warmer climate zone spreads northward. It’s only a matter of time before we experience greater effects here in Wales, with more severe weather over and above the storms, floods and dry periods which are fast becoming our ‘new normal’, resulting in direct social and economic impacts in addition to those caused by broader global conditions.

“Climate change is now reaching the end-game, whereby soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences."
Professor Hans Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact and adviser to the Pope, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the EU.


The aim of this petition is to impel Aberystwyth Town Council to simply acknowledge the need to plan for the challenges we face as individuals, families, communities, organisations and businesses in light of overwhelming scientific evidence showing that our ability to cope with what is coming is far from certain, and to open up a conversation between the public and the council on what coping strategies might be developed.
It also calls on the Council to reduce carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. A growing number of other UK town and city councils, including London, Manchester, Bristol, and Frome have recently pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the 2030s and Machynlleth has committed to becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible.

This initiative is exclusively a local endeavour with the aim to ensure the people of Aberystwyth are made aware of the truth about the likely events resulting from climate change, and enabled to contribute to the conversation on our survival in the near and longer term as a proud and unique community which must be recognised, valued, and preserved. The petition has been prepared by Extinction Rebellion, who also worked alongside local individuals, Zero Carbon Britain & Ecodyfi on the successful petition to Machynlleth Town Council to implement similar policies. Any interest in Extinction Rebellion can be directed to xraberystwyth@gmail.com, as can any questions regarding the veracity of the information given above.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to request the Council to act in your interests.
If you decide not to sign this petition, we would urge you to discern the facts of our current situation by whichever avenue you have faith in, and join the conversation in your own way.

 


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