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Local elections 2018…. will the environment win?

12th April 2018

In the run up to the local elections in Greater Manchester on Thursday 3rd May, Manchester Friends of the Earth are asking all candidates standing for election to let voters know what they think about key environmental issues.

On May 3rd, people in Greater Manchester have the opportunity to vote for the local councillors to represent them. The local councillors elected will have to implement solutions to meet the many social and environmental challenges facing us over the next 5 years and beyond. These include rising transport & energy costs, traffic congestion, ill health and rising obesity levels, poor air quality and the need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

Manchester Friends of the Earth will be asking all local council candidates for their views on issues such as:

* supporting the GM Mayor’s target to halve the region’s emissions in the next five years and become carbon neutral by 2038

* fossil fuel divestment by the GM Pension Fund

* support for Chris Boardman’s GM walking & cycling plan

* phasing-out of single-use plastics by 2020

* banning bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides

* measures to help tackle air pollution around local schools.(1)

Mirjam Rennit, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinator said:  “We wouldn’t dream of telling people which way to vote but we think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on key environmental issues that will affect all our lives, such as climate change and air pollution.”

“Our elected councillors need to put young people first and act now for a sustainable future. The longer we put off these tough decisions the harder it will be for future generations.”

The responses received so far from each candidate and a summary by political party will be available online (2).



Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth, Mobile: 07951 642858


Notes for Editors

1) See http://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/local-election-2018/

Local council candidates have been asked their views on the following 8 questions:

* Climate
Do you agree that Greater Manchester should adopt the Tyndall Centre’s science-based carbon budgets, set targets to halve the region’s emissions in the next five years and become carbon neutral by 2038?

* Divestment
Do you agree that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund should fully divest from fossil fuels in the next five years?

* Transport
Will you support your local council allocating funding to implement the walking and cycling (active travel) measures contained in Chris Boardman’s ‘Made to Move’ report?

* Air Quality
Will you call on your local council to introduce ‘parking exclusion zones’ around local schools at peak times?

* Nature
Will you support a ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in your local council area and work to phase out the use of other pollinator-harming pesticides?

* Plastics
Will you support the phase-out of single-use plastics in your local authority by 2020?

* Aviation
Will you support the introduction of a cap on emissions from flights to and from Manchester Airport?

* Greater Manchester building standard
Do you support the introduction of a GM-wide building standard for all new developments to be zero-carbon and climate resilient?

2) The local council candidate responses are available online as they come in.

3) Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk