Stratford-upon-Avon District Council should declare a Climate Emergency

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Stratford-upon-Avon District Council should declare a Climate Emergency

This petition made change with 462 supporters!

Stratford Climate Action started this petition to Stratford-upon-Avon District Council

The climate science, summarised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is clear that we are living in a state of climate emergency. At 1° of warming, increased hurricanes, heatwaves, gales, floods, droughts, and wildfires are already killing thousands and unhoming millions around the world, damaging agricultural systems, ruining homes and infrastructure, and driving animal species to extinction. This kind of damage will only increase as our globe warms: to 1.5° degrees by virtue of carbon we have already emitted; to the disastrous 4° we are said to be currently on track to reach. Long before 4°, this warming will have passed irreversible tipping points, whereby feedback mechanisms will push the warming process up even higher. These include the death of the Amazon rainforest, the ‘lungs of the planet’; the melting of the polar ice sheets, reducing the earth’s ability to reflect the sun’s rays; and the release, already underway, of massive deposits of methane—a greenhouse gas at least 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide—that are currently frozen under the permafrost.

The result will be an earth largely beyond the limits of human survivability. We stand on a knife edge, where the choice is not between increments of warming, but between the most strenuous effort to limit and reduce warming as much and as quickly as possible, and ‘the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world’, as David Attenborough said in a speech at the recent UN COP24 Summit. At the extreme, the threats would come from all sides, whether from unliveable heat, collapse of the natural systems on which we rely for food, increased wars, economic collapse, or even the possible death of the ocean phytoplankton that produce most of the oxygen on the planet. Should all the ice melt, and sea levels rise 50 metres, Stratford would be mostly underwater.

Hundreds of Stratford schoolchildren have made clear their knowledge of the basic meaning of the climate science, and their horror at the future being prepared for them. Parents of young children, like myself, are unable to look at them without feelings of pain and guilt. We need those in positions of leadership to take the lead in treating the emergency as an emergency. As it stands, their inaction is itself a kind of leadership, of exactly the kind we don’t need: an encouragement and permission to carry on regardless, in spite of the testimony of scientists. An increasing number of UK councils—51 at time of writing—have declared a climate emergency, and committed to drastically cutting their greenhouse gas emissions, most often to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. We need Stratford District Council to follow suit.

We, who live, work or study in the Stratford district, call upon the council to:

  • Declare a Climate Emergency.
  • Develop a strategy to convey to the community the severity of the situation, and to make known the ways in which local people can take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their own lives.
  • Develop, within 6 months, a realistic plan to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions within the district to zero by 2030, with substantial consultation with the local community, including schoolchildren.
  • To immediately take such actions that would obviously contribute to this goal, identified in consultation with the local community, without waiting for completion of the plan.

    Printable copies of this petition can be downloaded from www.stratfordclimate.org Contact stratfordclimate@tutanota.com

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This petition made change with 462 supporters!