There hasn’t been a meeting of full Council all year, thanks to Covid. Later this morning, there will be a (virtual) meeting of full council.
You can see the agenda here. You will search in vain for anything on the climate emergency.
In July 2019 all councillors voted to declare a climate emergency. Everything had to change now (that’s the nature of an emergency, yes?)
Little changed (some would say nothing). We as Climate Emergency Manchester have tried to hold the elected leaders to account. We have used the Freedom of Information Act to expose the total lack of progress, the total lack of urgency. We have educated ourselves, each other.
In July 2020 an official report revealed that the City has burned through one quarter of its carbon budget for the entire 21st century in the last two years.
The response from the “leaders” whose job it is to take action, to galvanise others to take action? Nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada. No special meetings. No emergency speeches. Just the usual occasional bit of grotesque misleading propaganda, as if climate was just another issue to be ‘managed’ ahead of the next elections.
If they thought it was an emergency, they’d be acting as if it were an emergency. They’d be trying to get us all involved, engaged. They’d be admitting past failures and asking for help with new ideas. They are doing none of this. Even the most achingly reformist and within-the-system suggestion, of a seventh scrutiny committee, is met with disdain and diversion.
Right now, Climate Emergency Manchester is talking about “what next?” Whatever we do, it will involve scrutinising the council, continuing to propose positive actions (knowing they will be ignored), looking after ourselves and others, buildings skills and relationships.
But right now, it’s very very hard to see Manchester City Council ever beginning to be the source of leadership it needs to be. Instead, it looks like it is going to continue to be a source of spin, delay, half-and-quarter truths: the polar opposite of what we, as a city, as members of this imperilled species, need from it.
If you are as angry/depressed/energised/despairing/worried/motivated as us, and you want to get involved in what we do, and help us do more and different things, please, email us – firstname.lastname@example.org