Climate Emergency Manchester, the year ahead and how to get involved.

Greetings of the New Year. Long post- the tl:dr is this

Firstly, next Monday, the 11th of January at 8pm we’re having a short online meeting (45 minutes tops) to

a) explain what CEM has got planned for the coming year, and how you can be involved at whatever level you’d like

b) to hear about other people’s concerns and campaigns.

If you want the link, email us on contact@climateemergencymanchester.net.

Secondly, on Tuesday, 9th of February at 10am the City Council’s Resources and Governance scrutiny committee, (one of the six scrutiny committees) meets. It will have a discussion of our petition for a seventh scrutiny committee dedicated to climate policy and implementation. We are calling on the councillors to recommend a vote in full Council. If you want to know more, and to get involved in this next stage of our petition campaign, please get in touch on the same email.

With that out the way here’s a little bit more about Climate Emergency Manchester’s plans.

Six of the seven core group members met online last night and rattled through a packed agenda. We operate under conditions of “sterile cockpit”, which mostly means no digressions and crap dad jokes by the loudest of us.

With lockdowns, Brexit, economic depressions, climate policy inaction and endless third-rate spin efforts by the Council etc we’re anticipating a lot of emotional and cognitive challenges for us and allies in the coming weeks and months. And therefore, the practical ways we will support each other to flourish individually, and as a group, took up the first third of the meeting. More on that question of “collective morale maintenance” soon.

The second half of the meeting was given over to practical discussions and decisions around various operations such as

  • Operation Strawberry  a skill share for the core group, supporters and allied organisations in Greater Manchester launching in February
  • Operation Pet Sounds are the next stage in our campaign to get a seventh scrutiny committee (see above).
  • Operation Scrutiny (joke/obscure name pending) the efforts to spread awareness of how scrutiny works. Next week sees all six scrutiny committees meet, and we’ve already started firing off emails to interested parties alerting them to specific agenda items. #edgyactivism
  • We agreed the finishing touches of the next Hung Drawn and Quarterly which comes out later this week, produced by Chloe Jeffries and Adam Peirce with publicity by Marc Hudson and Marion Smith. (Every three months, since the climate emergency declaration of July 2019 we have been publishing a scorecard, based on Freedom of Information Act requests, of how the Council is doing – and the answers are always depressing. Almost as depressing as the fact that the Council is not itself releasing this information pro-actively and in transparent formats).
  • Operation Climate Vote – this is the plan to make sure that climate change policy and implementation in bold is as high up the Local Elections agenda in April May as we can make it.  We looked at the first draft of the “smeac” for this:  Watch this space.
  • Operation Next Student Climate Handbook(s) – when, how and with who to extend this great work.
  • Overhauling our website, (the token breeder/web monkey will be getting no sleep.)

In closing:  this the year ahead is going to be very tough for many reasons. We are going to need collective morale and the skills to maintain and extend it. We are going to need to look after each other and show real practical solidarity. If you’re interested in working with Climate Emergency Manchester, either as an individual or part of a group, because you want to see social and environmental justice rather than “nice words,” please get in touch with us. Over the coming days and weeks we will be posting interviews with various cool groups who are trying to make Manchester greener, fairer and more ready for the changes to come. Please share those posts broadly.

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