Declare a #Climate Emergency in #Manchester: 1st petition signer interview

There’s a petition on Manchester City Council’s website calling on the council to declare a climate emergency. If you live, work or study in Manchester, please a) sign it and b) ask your friends, family and work colleagues to do the same. More details on things you could do here.

Every time the signature reaches a significant milestone (double figures, triple figures, 1000, 2000 etc) MCFly will invite that signatory to answer some questions. First up, as signatory 10, is Jonathan Atkinson.

Who are you, what do you do, why did you sign the petition?
My name is Jonathan, I am a staff member at Carbon Co-op and I signed the petition because I believe this kind of action reflects the scope and the scale of the climate change challenge we are facing and the kind of action required to tackle it.

Have you tried to get other folks to sign yet? If so, how, and how did
 that go?
No, I only signed it last night, but I will be circulating it to colleagues and friends via social media and talking to them.
I will also ask whether Carbon Co-op can officially endorse the petition.

What suggestions do you have for those trying to get more people to sign
 the petition
I think it would be useful to get prominent people and organisations to adopt the call. Also, I believe some councillors and Labour Party branches might also sign up to it if approached.

If Manchester City Council DOES declare a climate emergency, what should its first actions afterwards be?
To appoint a Cabinet member with sole responsibility for Climate Change action, to carry out climate change assessments and audits on all current and future council-related spending, to appoint a scrutiny committee to the oversight of climate change action with a requirement to publish an annual report on performance and present the report to the public via a meeting.

How do you think citizens could/should act to make sure that such a declaration is followed up with actual actions? What skills and  knowledge are needed for that?
Through the above mechanisms but with an emphasis on the report and the public meeting. Where possible, citizens should be involved in the creation of climate change related policy eg through citizen juries and on spending of money related to climate action through participatory budgeting mechanisms.

Anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks you for starting this petition. Will you be bearing your bottom at the next Council Scrutiny meeting? (I’m begging you – please no!)


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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