We have a new petition. It needs 4000 signatories who live work or study in Manchester – then we get a debate in Full Council. It’s still a long way to 4000. And 4000 is “just a number” – we need to be talking about who we are, what we want, how we think we get it, what we do next etc. Therefore, every time we get to a round number in the online and paper signatures (and we already have well over 100 on paper) we will do an interview with someone who has signed, using the questions below. First up, Hannah Malcolm…
1. Who are you, what do you do, why did you sign the petition?
I’m an ordinand in the Church of England (that means I’m in vicar school) and PhD student at the University of Durham in Theology and Ecology. Manchester is my current home – I live in Moss Side with my husband and I set up the Christian Climate Action Manchester group about a year ago. Importantly, I have a dog called Apple Juice.
I signed the petition because ‘climate emergency’ language has sadly failed to act as a reliable point of reference for decision making in councils across the UK. While declaring an emergency was a vital first step, it’s time for stronger, more specific demands.
2. Have you tried to get other folks to sign yet? If so, how, and how did that go?
Yes – the feedback so far has been mostly positive, but then like most of us I live in a bit of an echo chamber.
3. What suggestions do you have for those trying to get more people to sign the petition?
Print it out. Shove it under the noses of friends – ideally in person. Take it along to your church, mosque, community group, sports team. Reach out to people you know who don’t live in your neighbourhood.
4. If Manchester City Council DOES set up a permanent ‘Climate and Environment Scrutiny Committee’ what should its first actions afterwards be?
– Turn an uncompromising gaze on airport expansion plans, including incorporating the airport into any ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘net zero’ city targets.
– Push for bus regulation and expanded/protected cycle routes.
– Prioritise the health of communities suffering from dangerous levels of air pollution, including tree planting and protection schemes and much stricter regulations around parking and car access to roads surrounding schools.
– Commit to no new car parks.
5. How do you think citizens could/should act to make sure that such a declaration is followed up with actual actions? What skills and knowledge are needed for that?
More knowledge of genuinely workable alternatives. In particular, pointing out the ways that actions have been successfully implemented in other UK cities (especially London!) is really powerful.
6. Anything else you’d like to say
May God bless Climate Emergency Manchester and all who sail in her 😉