Letter: #Climate talk is cheap. Actions matter

Letter in today’s Manchester Evening news

TALK is cheap.I read your article “‘Decisive decade’ in climate change fight,” M.E.N, 23 April) with a sense of deja vu. Almost thirty years ago Manchester City Council hosted a “Global Forum” in the aftermath of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.  Wonderful speeches were made, and the Council launched a “Local Agenda 21” process of citizen engagement. That was shut down by the Council when the citizens decided that a tax on air travel was a good idea.

Has anything changed?  Well, there have been more declarations, including the unanimous climate emergency one in July 2019.  But talk is really really cheap.

The same edition has an article “‘Mobility Hub’ is multi-storey car park, say critics,” which quotes a campaigner who makes the basic point that “Whilst this mobility hub has 150 spaces for bicycles, the city is still lacking the infrastructure to make walking and cycling safe.”

Promises of “trust me” are not enough. We’ve had 30 years of that. What we need are better processes, closer scrutiny and monthly focused attention.

All 149 candidates for local election are being asked if they support three simple low cost proposals put forward by the group Climate Emergency Manchester.

So far only one of the 34 Labour candidates has deigned to reply.  That person, ironically, is the city’s lead member on walking and cycling.  Why ironically? Despite the £9m Great Ancoats St debacle, she said she did not support the proposals.


Dr Marc Hudson

editor of Manchester Climate Monthly

About manchesterclimatemonthly

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