Repost: “Prof Kevin Anderson’s ‘real talk’ on #climate change” #Manchester #mcc @CllrSuzanne

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.

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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4 Responses to Repost: “Prof Kevin Anderson’s ‘real talk’ on #climate change” #Manchester #mcc @CllrSuzanne

  1. Dave Bishop says:

    Even though the world is likely to end, we’ve just GOT to expand that airport … oh yes, and Stansted Airport … which we’ve just bought. Still, look on the bright side, there’s an opportunity to act smug and make other people (particularly ‘middle class’ people – boooo!!!) feel guilty – and we’re VERY good at that! Pity about those airports … perhaps the climate won’t notice a couple of tiny(ish) airports …

  2. Suzanne Richards says:

    Ouch! Well I suppose I have to take the Airport comment on the chin. The post certainly wasn’t meant in a patronising make middle class people feel guilty way. It was a reflection on our collective responsibility and the power of collective action which was a key point of Prof Andersons presentation. It was also expressing the view that we can and should be doing more as a Council. This Councillor following Wednesdays presentation is thinking about she can do more. Don’t kick her for that! Work with her.

    • I have a lot of respect for both Dave Bishop and Suzanne Richards. I endorse Cllr Richards suggestion that we work with those Councillors who are trying to get things happening. But also, obviously, that we don’t duck elephants-in-the-room like the Airport just for the sake of harmony at all times! It will be tricky, but as I boringly say “if this were easy, we wouldn’t be in this mess now would we?”

      Marc Hudson

    • Matthew Rowe says:

      One point that I thought was worth exploring is the need for people to lead by example. Within the communities of Manchester there are lots of people who are taking a lead and inspiring those around them. We also have physical examples like eco-houses, e.g. Dwelle on Wilmslow road.

      What I would like to see/find is councillors that are examples of leading a low carbon life (both personal and professional). I for one would champion a councillor if they were open and accountable for the carbon which they use. Even if they are high users at present but were honest and open about becoming low carbon.

      I would be hopeful that a councillor does exist within Manchester with a low carbon footprint. Although not surprise if there isn’t, as it is not the highest priority for voters. Yet!

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