As discussed on the previous page, Manchester City Council has six scrutiny committees, but none devoted solely to climate change. Seeing as the Council has declared a climate emergency, you’d think that scrutinising their actions on climate would be higher on their agenda.. But it’s really not. Whatever happened to “deeds not words”?
A large part of the reason why MCC is able to make fantastic promises about climate change, and then almost completely fail to deliver on them, is because there simply isn’t enough scrutiny. At Climate Emergency Manchester, we’ve been to these committee meetings (largely so you don’t have to), and over the course of the last year, the Council has devoted roughly three hours in total to discussing climate change in their scrutiny meetings. And much of the time was about trying to extract answers to simple questions from politicians and bureaucrats who were keen not to give answers. Given the urgency of the situation, this just isn’t good enough.
Therefore, Climate Emergency Manchester is campaigning for a seventh scrutiny committee dedicated to the environment. A committee completely dedicated to climate change would mean we have far better climate democracy in Manchester, and break the ever-continuing cycle of Manchester City Council’s unfulfilled climate promises.
Depending on the type of activism you may be involved in, you may be sceptical of the impact of a petition and a committee – and that’s a sensible outlook to have. Whilst petitions on websites like Change.org are owned by for-profit companies in places like Silicon Valley, and have no legal standing with bureaucratic or judicial organisations, the petition we’ve set up is on the City Council’s petition portal. This means that the City Council is required to review it if we get enough respondents- if we can get over 4000 signatures, there will be a full Council debate that discusses our motion for better climate democracy.
So the good news is that this petition could have real-world implications. The bad news is that the City Council’s website is truly horrendous to navigate, and it’s very difficult for people to sign online (it’s almost like this might be intentional…). The even worse news is that Global Pandemics are generally pretty big blows as far as signature collecting face-to-face goes as well.
We need 4,000 signatures by the 10th November 2020 from people who live, work or study within Manchester City Council’s boundaries. If you’re a student in Manchester, you’re eligible to sign, and we would really love for you to do that. What we’d love even more would be for you to help us promote the petition and get your friends and family to sign as well.
There’s a whole bunch of ideas below.
You can find our petition landing page on our website here, and more information over the page on how you can help.
We intend to do another edition, so if you’ve found something wrong with this page, or you have comments, you can either leave a comment below, or else email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like this handbook, and you’re reading this before November 10th 2020, and you live, work or study within Manchester City Council’s boundaries, please sign the petition for a seventh scrutiny committee, then share the petition with seven of your friends…
Student Climate Handbook home page