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Wandsworth petition urges council to declare Climate Emergency

Wandsworth petition urges council to declare Climate Emergency

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A Wandsworth wide petition urging Wandsworth Council to declare a Climate Emergency has attracted thousands of signatures, both on paper and online.

Launched by Wandsworth resident Glyn Goodwin and the local Green Party, the petition has found widespread support from local schools and businesses across Tooting and Wandsworth, and is aiming to reach the 10,000 signatures required by an end date of May 6th for a full council debate to be scheduled.

The initiative follows in the footsteps of country-wide declarations, which have already seen Bristol, Manchester and London as well as many local councils declaring Climate Emergencies and pledging to drastically reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. In October 2018 a special report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world had only 12 years to take the action necessary to preserve a chance of limiting global warming to ‘well below’ 1.5°C. Without immediate and drastic action to cut emissions the report warns that the world is on course for global warming significantly above 2°C, leading to climate breakdown with almost certain catastrophic global consequences for all living species including humans.

The IPCC reported that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.
 

  

Glyn Goodwin, part of the team organising the petition, said, “The petition aims in essence to break the existential problem into manageable chunks and for Wandsworth to plan to ‘do its bit’ for all of our local community. There is huge goodwill to tackle this problem – people have been very supportive across the political spectrum, ages, gender and creed – people are worried at the severity of what they are seeing daily, even at the 1° rise we have at present. In the words of climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, ‘a thermometer does not measure politics.’

“At present rates of warming we will see all the good that fossil fuel has helped bring about turn to dust. The council has started with good initiatives but now the scale of the emergency is much greater after the Paris 1.5°agreement, and we need Wandsworth to have plans for its citizens.”

‘We have to do something more drastic about climate change,” said Jesse Guest, one of the signatories, “it’s our children and grandchildren who will suffer because of our gross negligence. The time to act is now before it’s too late.”

“With CO2 at a higher level than for the last 3 million years, higher than has ever been seen by humans, it certainly is a daunting problem,” continued Glyn Goodwin, “the longer we leave it the greater the cost of fixing it.”

“Many councils around the country have been rising to the challenge of global warming by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and we ask that the Government gives Wandsworth the powers and funding to enable the 2030 carbon neutral target.”

You can find out more about the petition here and on their Facebook group.

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