Professor Kevin Anderson talks #climate ahead of #Manchester City Council presentation Weds 30 January

Professor Kevin Anderson has spoken(1) to MCFly, ahead of his presentation tomorrow morning to the full Council meeting of Manchester City Council. (2) In the interview he pointed out that “the industrial revolution began [in Manchester] and then spread across the planet. So maybe again we could have a green revolution … which would not just be all about technology, but technology and behaviour, policies, politics, economics – a revolution around those agendas.”

His presentation will cover the causes and impacts of climate change, before turning to the need for very very steep reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide from burning oil, coal and gas. The presentation, which is scheduled to last 35 minutes and be followed by a question and answer session with councillors, will also pose the question about whether a growth economy is compatible with the kinds of reductions we need to keep global warming to an “acceptable” level.

Council Leader Richard Leese has invited Professor Anderson to give an updated version of his presentation to a conference held last May on Manchester’s need to adapt to the coming changes in weather patterns. Professor Anderson will update his previous work, with references to a series of stark reports released since then, by organisations such as the World Bank and PWC.

A full transcript of the interview will appear tonight. Here’s a teaser –

Devil’s Advocate question – “surely there’s little we can do at a local level? – it’s all an international and perhaps a national problem.” What would you say if someone said to that?

Anderson: My first thought is that industrialisation has spread around the world, and that started in Manchester, so it does appear that you can actually start something in one place. In fact we have very good empirical evidence that you can … in the North of England, around the Manchester region, where the industrial revolution began, and that spread across the planet. So maybe again we could have a green revolution … which would not just be all about technology, but technology and behaviour, policies, politics, economics – a revolution around those agendas.

“It could be started and triggered in Manchester. We already know that some people elsewhere in the world are starting to drive in this direction, so it wouldn’t be that Manchester was on its own. There’s already quite a lot of groups, and sometimes towns, and sometimes cities that are starting to move in this direction. So it’s a matter of finding your bedfellows elsewhere in the world and trying to coalesce around a similar agenda and lead by example. I think Manchester could easily lead by example. It’s the choice between being the sheepdog or the sheep, and Manchester can make a decision about which way it wants to go on that.”



(1) The Manchester City Council press office was asked (twice) last Thursday to provide a statement. As of close of play Monday they’d still not done so. In these circumstances it’s always best to put to reach for the explanation of “cock-up”. If, however, it is “conspiracy” we say this – guys, if you’re worried that we will run a headline “Council takes 8 months to schedule a talk after climate expert says ‘yes, I’ll come’” then, well, chillax; there are plenty of genuine things for us to berate the Council for. This ‘delay’ is not one of them.

(2) The meeting is held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall (Albert Square) from 10am.  It is free, open to the public and you do NOT need to book.  You will NOT have the right to ask questions. Come prepared to lobby!


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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2 Responses to Professor Kevin Anderson talks #climate ahead of #Manchester City Council presentation Weds 30 January

  1. Hi Marc, I thought a team member or yourself might have attended Breakfast at Rylands: Evil Energies, this morning. Kevin Anderson (he might give you a better feed-back on the breakfast or Ali (MFOE)), was one of 6 speakers who gave a 5 minute talk. He raised the fact that Lord Stein is now admitting things are worse than he thought, the World Bank is now saying urgent action is needed to prevent runaway climate change and wars over resources and the International Energy Authority also stating action is needed. He also reminded people energy, was not just electricity, but fuel and gas. That we have to make a 10% reduction in energy demand annually to prevent us hitting 4 degrees warming.
    He did emphasis, that it is the more affluent who should be making the reductions in their energy. It is they who should be making the sacrifices, (something I have tried to point out to people). One of the audience, after the talks, pointed out, it is difficult to get people to cut-back on energy use, when at night, the see all the lights burning in shops and offices. Again, something I have pointed concerning the Town Hall, with that being lit-up at night and even worse First Street. The only way to lead, is through good example, then others will, willing follow. It was also, the Town Hall did not set a very good example in buying another airport, unless of course they are going to shut it down (and Ringway as well).
    Leeses repeated defence for the council not doing anything, is because it needs others to do it as well. Shows he lacks the leadership qualities needed, to be leader of Manchester Council and AGMA, he is not ‘fit-for-purpose’. Other council have gone alone, and quite successfully, such as Woking council.
    Something, I did mention to a couple of people, is a Green Alliance report of energy efficiency of equipment. Which points out, that in this country, you still have poor energy efficient products on sale. And as these are normally cheaper than energy-efficient products, that is what most consumers buy. Therefore, energy use is not being reduced, which is what is required.

    Click to access Cutting_Britain%27s_energy_bill_web.pdf

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