Community Calls on Tameside Council to Up its Game in Response to Climate Emergency

24th November 2019
news
release

Thursday 28th November will see the launch of a new group in Tameside dedicated to acting to prevent climate breakdown, amid concerns the council is not taking the urgent actions necessary.

From the youth strike for climate, through to local people clubbing together to start green energy projects, communities up and down the country have been responding to scientists’ predictions we now have just eleven years to act if we are to halt runaway climate change [1].

Friends of the Earth is helping people to form Climate Action groups – a nation-wide taskforce dedicated to acting on climate change, including working alongside local councils and persuading them to get on with reducing C02 emissions.

Speaking on behalf of Friends of the Earth, Estelle Worthington said:   

“It is vital communities in Tameside come together to develop local solutions to the climate crisis. Climate change is the biggest threat to our very existence and to much of the natural world we’ve ever seen.

“And yet our leaders are letting us down. National government has failed to act with the urgency required, but local councils also have an incredibly important role to play in getting us on the pathway to net-zero.

“Tameside Council is the only local authority in Greater Manchester not to have declared a climate emergency. While they are technically covered by the Climate Emergency Declaration made by the Combined Authority [2], not taking this step risks implying the issue is not a priority for the council.

“We welcome their interest in working alongside us to plant more trees in the area – but there is much more that can be done. For a start, Tameside council – who hold the keys to the GM local authority pension fund [3] – could commit to divesting this money from fossil fuels.”

Friends of the Earth recently analysed how climate-friendly each local authority area in England is. Our research reveals that in the Tameside area 44% of emissions come from housing, while 23% are from transport, and 33% are industrial and commercial emissions.

To help councils get on the pathway to net-zero, Friends of the Earth’s Climate Action Plan for Councils proposes 50 key actions councils can take in areas like buildings, land-use, transport and waste to reduce C02 emissions.

ENDS

Contacts for comment:

Estelle Worthington, Friends of the Earth North West campaigner, Mobile: 07764 364236 | Email: estelle.worthington@foe.co.uk

Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth. Mobile: 07951 642858 | Email: pete@manchesterfoe.org.uk

Notes to editors:

· Friends of the Earth will host a Climate Action Kick-off event on Thursday 28 November 2019 from 6.30 – 8.30pm at Ryecroft Hall, Manchester Road, Audenshaw, Tameside, M34 5ZJ. Members of the public are encouraged to book via this link

· The climate action event follows a community tree planting day at Sunnybank Park in Tameside on Sunday 24 November, where Manchester Friends of the Earth teamed up with City of Trees and the council to plant 500 trees as part of National Tree Week. High resolution photographs of the tree planting event are available.

· Friends of the Earth’s climate-friendly local area postcode look-up tool revealed that Tameside local authority was not in the top 5 best performing local authorities in Greater Manchester. Our analysis indicates in the Tameside area 44% of emissions come from housing, while 23% are from transport, and 33% are industrial and commercial emissions

·  Friends of the Earth’s Climate Action Plan for Councils proposes 50 key actions councils can take in areas like buildings, land-use, transport and waste to reduce C02 emissions.

[1] On 8th October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on the state of climate science. They warned that if the planet warmed by 1.5C there would be some devastating consequences, such as the loss of most coral reefs, and increased extreme weather such as heatwaves and floods. Yet predicted the consequences of allowing 2C warming would be truly catastrophic. 

[2] The Greater Manchester Combined Authority declared a climate emergency on 26 July 2019.

[3] Tameside Council is responsible for managing the Greater Manchester Pension Fund on behalf of the 10 GM local authorities and a variety of other public and voluntary sector organisations. The GM Pension Fund is the largest and dirtiest in the country. According to a 2018 report, over 10% of the fund – up to £2 billion – is invested in oil, gas and mining companies, making it the dirtiest pension fund in the country.

This includes both direct investments in fossil fuel extraction companies and indirect investments in companies (banks, for instance) that themselves have holdings in fossil fuel companies. Divesting from fossil fuels is a relatively easy step councils can take to address the climate crisis.  https://gofossilfree.org/uk/fuellingthefire/ 

[4] Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/ follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page.