Exclusive: Manchester City Council to hold “Climate Action Summit” in July

Manchester City Council has told backbench councillors that it intends to hold a climate action summit in July, to provide “a space for children and young people to discuss their views, and articulate what they want”

In an email from 3 weeks ago, in response to forward copies of Emma Greenwood’s Open Letter, the Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure , Luthfur Rahman, wrote that “the event is not going to be about what the Council can do for you but rather what can we all do individually and collectively to reverse/slow down the pace of climate change.” So, no responsibility-shifting there then, at all…

Much is unclear about the approach the council is taking. It is not clear which students will be invited, or how will they be selected. It is not clear whether tere will be an upper age limit (e.g. will university students be able to attend).

Certainly the Council will be keen to avoid awkward questions about its own failure to undertake meaningful action in the last ten years. Much of its own carbon reductions are due to selling off buildings and having only 3/5ths of the workforce it had before the Tories’ Austerity began. What the Council will say to any astute and informed students who asked whatever happened to the “Steering Group” elections and the annual stakeholder conferences, which were cancelled in 2014, remains to be seen. Also as to why carbon literacy training for members and officers has stalled, and why luminaries and intellectual leaders such as Richard Leese, chief executive Joanne Roney and Executive Member Angeliki Stogia have delivered no speeches on climate change to general audiences in the last two years. Much can be blamed on Westminster, but not these (and other) failings…

PS It’s not clear whether this Climate Action Summit is even going ahead – the email sent to backbenchers was 3 weeks ago, and since then there appears to have been no public announcement at all. It’s also not clear whether the whispers of a stage-managed portion of the full Council meeting on Weds 10th July are superseded by the putative ‘Climate Action Summit.’

About manchesterclimatemonthly

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