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Climate change: When Governments fail to act, Cities need to take the lead.

news release

On Tuesday 13th December, Manchester has the opportunity to demonstrate that when national governments fail to act, world-class cities can take the lead and develop the policy and lifestyle changes needed to meet the challenges of climate change. The Manchester City Council, Communities and Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be discussing the implementation of the Manchester: A Certain Future and Greater Manchester Climate Change Action Plans. [1]
Manchester Friends of the Earth believe that the global deal signed at the UN Climate Change (COP17) talks in Durban [2] does not come anywhere close to what the science requires us to do.  The deal has seen developed nations renege on their promises, with a weakening of the rules on climate action and a delay in setting targets until 2020. [3] The ambition for the proposed emissions cuts remains terrifyingly low, the Green Climate Fund has no money and plans to expand destructive carbon trading are moving ahead.  Meanwhile, millions across the developing world already face devastating climate impacts, and the world catapults headlong towards climate catastrophe. [4]

Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, said: “Delaying real action till 2020 is a crime of global proportions. This means the world is on track to a 4C temperature rise, a death sentence for Africa, small island states and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. The richest 1% of the world has decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

Young people will be the ones who will have to deal with the environmental problems that have not been resolved at the COP17 climate change talks in Durban. Together with over 100 young people from across Europe, Manchester Friends of Earth member, Alex Lee, from Whalley Range, campaigned outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, to show European politicians they need to stand up for young people and poorer nations, and for the renewal of the Kyoto Protocol.

Alex Lee said “The week in Brussels was fantastic. We had workshops, actions and discussions with inspiring young people from across Europe to make our generation’s voice heard, as it is our future that world leaders are deciding on. We can’t let the weak climate deal in Durban be the end or our future will be very bleak. The youth in Manchester can lead too, and we need to ensure that the Manchester: A Certain Future plan is successful, so we can inspire cities worldwide to follow Manchester’s ambitious vision.”



Colette Humphrey, Manchester Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator. Mobile: 07754 042716.
Alex Lee, Manchester Friends of the Earth. Mobile: 07962 662762

Notes to Editors:

[1].  See   See also Manchester: A Certain Future website

[2] For more details of COP17 see

[3] See for details of the outcomes which Friends of the Earth believed were needed from the Durban talks to set the direction and a pathway towards a comprehensive climate agreement in the future.

[4] Reaction to the Durban Climate Change talks.

[5] 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:  Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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