Cllr Suzanne Richards (Labour, Longsight) has blogged about Professor Kevin Anderson’s presentation to full council. We republish the blog (from here) in full. Please note the site’s disclaimer – “All posts are made in a strictly personal capacity and do not reflect Labour Party policy or Council policy (except where they do!).”
The whole Council sat in silence on Wednesday morning listening to the grim reality of how Climate Change will impact on our city and the rest of the world if political leaders continue on their current path. As Councillor Fletcher-Hackwood would say it was ‘real talk’. Real talk of the starkest and most depressing kind. The figure that really shocked me was that 1% of the world’s population are responsible for 50% of the worlds CO2 emissions. That 1% is probably you or me. If you have taken a flight on holiday in the last year it’s definitely you. If you earn over £30k it’s definitely you. But that figure is also where the hope in Prof Anderson’s real talk is. Figures show that making changes to the supply side of energy production won’t have an impact on reducing CO2 emissions fast enough to keep climate change temperature rises below 2°C (the point at which beyond it is now widely accepted the consequences would be devastating to the world). But on the demand side small changes can make a huge impact in terms of emissions. Basically it’s down to us. Deciding to put a jumper on rather than turn the heating on an hour early. Buying the A++ rated fridge rather than the A rated one. Small changes to our lifestyles can make a big difference. If we as individuals can make such a difference how Manchester City Council acts can make a phenomenal difference. That is why we have the Manchester: A Certain Future Action Plan. In June 2012 we held a mini-Conference in the Economy Scrutiny Committee on Manchester’s economy in the context of sustainability. We came up with a number of recommendations but I think a number of us as Councillors would have liked to have gone further and been more ambitious in our recommendations. In light of Prof Anderson’s talk this week I wouldn’t be surprised if we re-visit our discussion on steady state economics very soon! Watch this space.