Letter: We need to hear from councillors about #climate

The Manchester Evening News has kindly published our letter today.

THE drumbeat around November’s international climate conference in Glasgow grows louder. It was the centrepiece of your article “Sir David’s ‘crippling’ climate change fears”, (M.E.N. 10 May) about David Attenborough, and also rated a mention in the full-page advert from British Telecom on the same day

Manchester City Council is planning its own PR splash at the conference (how much has it already spent on this? That’s the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request, due soon.)

It’s worth looking at the here and now. Three things are of special interest.

Manchester as a city has burned through a quarter of its carbon budget for the entire twenty-first century in the last two years alone. There have been zero meetings about this blow out, and the Council’s own climate “agency” has released a tender for a £50k contract that can’t bring itself to mention this failure, and would, if unchallenged, lock in more of the old failures.

Secondly, most of the Labour candidates elected last Thursday maintained resolute silence when climate campaigners asked – on Twitter and even by registered post – if they supported three simple climate commitments for Manchester. Honourable and brave exceptions to this (enforced?) silence include Debbie Hillal and Linda Foley in Didsbury, Ekua Bayunu in Hulme, Emily Rowles in Moss Side, Jill Lovecy in Rusholme, and Gavin White in Old Moat. (The Green councillor, Robert Nunney, in Woodhouse Park, also supported the commitments.)

Thirdly, Manchester City Council is proposing an enormous development on Hough End playing fields, with more artificial pitches (er, microplastics anyone?) and additional car parking spaces (encouraging more car journeys).  

We will keep working to try to close the gap between Manchester Council’s soaring rhetoric and the reality of its actual actions.

Chloe Jeffries

Climate Emergency Manchester

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