Steyning 10:10 is joining forces with green groups across the South East to get our District and County Councils to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’. This is all about ramping up our ambitions and getting climate change onto council’s agendas in a much more central and explicit way than it has been in the past. It starts with a council motion to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’, but it needs to be followed by concrete steps decided at the local level to galvanise action.
The Climate Emergency movement started in Australia, but has been gathering pace rapidly. It has really taken off in the UK since Bristol declared in November 2018. Over 20 councils have declared since then, including Oxford, Brighton and Hove, London, Frome and Totnes. The ClimateEmergency.uk website provides an up to date picture of what’s happening, plus some excellent resources.
We are campaigning to get Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council to follow suit. Happily, we’re not alone. There are many others in our area with similar ideas, and after a packed meeting of green groups in Horsham on 2nd February we’ve joined forces to create a new coordinating group – the South East Climate Alliance – to campaign for this across the region.
Moves are already afoot to get West Sussex to declare an emergency. At the District level, we’ve made contact with local Councillors to get their advice. The plan is to use the upcoming District Council election on May 2nd to jump start this campaign. We’ll be contacting candidates from all parties to garner their support for Horsham to declare a climate emergency. By writing letters, meeting with candidates, holding hustings meetings, we plan to show how widespread the concern is about this issue – and encourage them to get behind the idea. The idea is to be deliberately non-political, as this issues goes far wider than party politics.
We have set up a working group in Steyning to coordinate our efforts on this and will be reporting back on progress via our regular email updates and at Green Drinks. We’ll be looking for volunteers to get behind this and help with writing letters and approaching candidates. Drop us an email at email@example.com if you’d like to get involved.