Cllr Eve Holt has kindly provided a copy of her speech to full council on Weds July 10th 2019, seconding the motion by Cllr Annette Wright.
As councillors, as activists, as citizens.
The time to act is now!
Let’s be under no illusion, Climate Breakdown, and the wider ecological crisis, presents the most significant threat to ‘Our Fair City’ and to the safety and security of those she shelters. As well as representing the most serious threat to all humanity in the entire history of our species.
As Greta says, we must act as if our house is on fire!
According to the IPPC report, we have only 12 years (now 11!) to make rapid and far-reaching transitions to reduce our carbon emissions, in energy, industry, buildings, transport, in all aspects of council business, of our work and our lives
This is a Climate Emergency. Business as usual is not an option, for anyone.
Unless we take bold action, it will be the poorest and the most vulnerable communities in Manchester and across the world who will be hit first and the hardest.
This is Manchester and in moments of crisis and injustice
We do not flail our arms
We do not turn our backs
We do not point our fingers
We do not wait for others to lead
No, We Rise, like Lions after slumber
We listen to the evidence, our people and our hearts
We act. We Lead. And we do it together.
Our Great great grandfathers taught us the power of cooperation
Our Great grandmothers taught us the power of deeds not words
Our parents ..taught us the power of [grit, sacrifice]collectivism
And now our children teach us the power of speaking the truth
There is no Planet B!
But, The good news is, that whilst some cities continue to sleep, the worker bees of Manchester have, once again, been buzzing away laying the foundations for radical change.
The city hosts climate change experts in our universities; engineers and innovators in our green tech industry; social entrepreneurs and educators in our workplaces and our schools; and our neighbourhoods are filled with community activists and leaders organising for a better, healthier way of life and showing by doing.
And our young people are proudly leading the way…
- As a Chorlton councillor I’m given hope by our local schools, faith leaders, traders, community groups who are speaking up and coming together to take action. Pupils joined me in this chamber two weeks ago to share action they’ve been taking to reduce their carbon footprints and for environment more broadly. A citizens assembly at Chorlton High school yesterday demonstrated the power of bringing generations together to co-produce a plan.
- As a governor I’m inspired by pupils, staff and school community work together to encourage more people to walk and cycle to school, to include youth strikers from Manley Park Primary School here today, who’ve literally been walking the talk, promoting sustainable travel, a meat free diet and urging action by government.
- And the words and deeds my own kids [including my Jacob over there…] have inspired me to be braver and bolder in speaking the truth and in taking action.
As a Council we have helped lead the way, and I want to thank my Labour colleagues who’ve been driving this
- From 2008 Manchester Council has been leading the fight for climate justice, publishing our first climate change strategy in 2009.
- In 2018 we were the first UK city and council to set a Paris compliant carbon budget. Adopting the recommendations of the Manchester based, world-renowned Tyndall Centre. Commiting to 13% annual cuts in our carbon emissions .
- In our ambition to be a fully Carbon Literate council we have had over 1000 staff and councillors complete the Carbon Literacy training, more than any other council.
- And we see that in responding to this Emergency we can unlock action on multiple challenges, in rethinking our transport, our homes, our energy, our food, our services, our jobs, we can tackle other problems like fuel poverty, dirty air, unemployment and isolation to build a more resilient and equal city and city region that works for all.
We are making progress but not enough achieving only a 2.5% reduction in 2018!
As leaders, we must continually hold the mirror up to ourselves and consider what ..more.. can…we.. do? we must find ways to much further, faster, together.
I want to be able to look every resident, every child in the eye and say I, we, are all doing absolutely everything that is within our power to do to ensure they, their children and their children’s children, have a planet to live on and a fair city that can shelter, feed & support them.
We are many, and the time to act is now.
Lets Rise together, Once again, And Act. For Our city, Our world, Our people
I urge you all to support this motion today. And more importantly, to put it into action in deeds not words, in your wards, workplaces, homes, across this fair city. And hold others to account in doing the same. Thank you