Local Election BillAmid the buzz of the Energy Fair and the charged enthusiasm for solar power, wind power, retrofit and heat pumps sourced by the air or the ground, lay the question of how to make all this happen in time.  Fortunately, Rupert Meadows, who'd come from London to represent Power for People, was there to explain what we need to accelerate change.  He outlined how his organisation aims to promote community energy but how difficult that is under current legislation.  Which is why they are putting the Local Electricity Bill through parliament. 

The Problem

The potential for community renewable energy to benefit local economies is being blocked by unfair regulations and hugely disproportionate costs.

The Solution

They have drafted the Local Electricity Bill and are campaigning for it to be made law. This would give electricity generators the right to become local suppliers.

The Campaign

So far, they have brought a cross-party group of 304 MPs on board in support. But they need many more and to achieve this they need your help.

Their stall at the Energy Fair gave us all the opportunity to send a postcard to our MP, asking them to support the bill.  For most of us that will be Karen Bradley, who they understand is not entirely opposed but may need a bit more encouragement from her constituents.  

If you feel strongly about this and didn't get the chance to do so at the Fair, please take this opportunity to give your MP a nudge.

WRITE TO YOUR MP

 For more information go to powerforpeople.org.uk/the-local-electricity-bill

 

 

A Message from Friends of the Earth to whom we are affiliated:

“We need urgent action if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of the climate and nature emergencies. And despite communities already feeling the impacts, the UK government is doing far too little to address these global emergencies.

But we don’t have to rely on national decision-makers alone to take action. Many of the solutions to the climate and nature emergencies lie in our local communities.
From generating green jobs and improving public transport to creating green spaces and reducing air pollution, your council has the power to implement a Climate Action Plan that makes climate solutions a reality.

And as councils across the country get serious about climate action, the pressure for a response at the national level will continue to build. Soon enough the government will have to follow suit.

So will you ask your councillors to make sure your council implements a strong Climate Action Plan? We’ve written a template email you can edit, so it should only take a minute.

There are local campaigners and Climate Action groups across the country already working to get strong Climate Action Plans for their communities. Your email will help put more weight behind their campaigns and show councillors the broad support there is for a local Climate Action Plan.”

Please join in by following this link:

https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/target/ask-your-councillor-ambitious-climate-action-plan

Thank you.

 

 

GuterresWe all saw news of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the Climate Emergency.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the report - from the world's leading scientists - flashed a “code red for humanity.”

“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk"

Meanwhile at the recent SMDC Climate Change Working Group, councillors and members of MCA sat and listened to a long list of reasons why there had not been progress on the changes required around planning, waste/recycling and greening of the Council's fleet.

The summer solstice has come and gone, but in the Moorlands there is no sign of a mid-year lull on the climate action front. MCA’s HuG Festival is set to run on the 26th June at Leek’s Foxlowe after Covid forced us to delay it from last year. Equally delayed, but for far less obvious reasons, was Part 1 of SMDC’s Carbon Action Plan. This finally squeaked in just before Councillor Porter’s latest self-imposed deadline of ‘the end of spring’. MCA has yet to deliver its full response but the withering reception that his threadbare draft received earlier this year seems to have had some effect at least. Numbers have been added, and some directions of travel seem to have been beefed up.

There still seems to be the usual portion of ‘work to be completed’ and ‘still to be done’, even on this part of the plan, which deals with the council’s own emissions. These are, of course, far more under their control, and the really difficult part comes up now. That’s Part 2, which deals with the emissions sources of the district as a whole. It’s important to remember that the commitment that SMDC made – at least partly under the pressure of MCA’s founding campaign – was to achieve Net Zero by 2030 for the whole of the Moorlands, not just the council’s own operations.

If we’re going to create the global change we need, the best thing we can do is start by transforming where we live.

Moorlands Climate Action (MCA) is keen to know how candidates will help to tackle the CLIMATE EMERGENCY in Staffordshire if elected.

We want to work with councillors to try and make Staffordshire net zero. The County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019:

"We recognise the importance of climate change and its impact on the residents and business of Staffordshire. In July 2019 we declared a climate change emergency to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 across every aspect of our service provision and estate." - https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/Climate-change.aspx 

The candidates were contacted on the 12th April 2021 with a questionnaire from Moorlands Climate Action (www.MoorlandsClimateAction.org.uk). The deadline for response was the 21st April 2021.

This year is a decisive one for SMDC in its attempts to deliver a climate action plan that stands a chance of hitting its own targets of making itself and the district hit net zero by 2030. Having now missed his first commitment “to produce a comprehensive climate change plan effective from the year 2021/22”, Cllr Porter has promised to deliver a plan for the council’s activities “by spring”, go to public consultation in the summer, and then unveil a comprehensive plan for the whole district by the time of the COP26 Summit in November.

Albert Einstein may have finally demolished the concept of absolute time in 1905, and at a quantum level even relative time no longer makes it into the maths equations. But here in the Moorlands, we’re still going by the seasons and on that basis alone, it looks a very tough call for the council to come up with a plan that will meet its own requirements and its own (revised) timetable.

MCA members have recently been meeting SMDC at officer level to go through the plan in detail. There is no doubt there is a new sense of urgency at Moorlands House and that work, which in many cases should have been started way earlier, is now underway.