Francis Sealey from Enfield Voices introduces a new local campaign group aimed at tackling the climate emergency
The general election is over, the die has been cast and the Conservatives have a clear majority.
Although Brexit will dominate the next two years as we seek trade agreements, now is the time to tackle the one issue that will affect us, our children and especially our grandchildren – climate change.
Tackling climate change needs to involve the whole community; individuals, community groups, businesses, as well as Enfield Council. As a result, Enfield Climate Action Forum (EnCaf) has been formed to galvanise our community to tackle the issue that could threaten life on our planet by the end of this century. We are told by the International Panel on Climate Change that we have only ten or eleven years to make a difference – we must start now.
Fifty local organisations have already expressed an interest in being involved in the forum, ranging from churches and mosques, to charitable and community organisations, social enterprises, pressure groups and social networks.
The forum plans to meet at least four times each year with a core committee co-ordinating activities and publishing regular newsletters. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday 22nd January at the Dugdale Centre.
The aim of the forum will be to create awareness about the urgency of climate change, to encourage co-operation between members, exchange knowledge and good practice, facilitate local civil society action and to monitor local authority plans to address climate change.
The council’s Climate Emergency Task Force has now met twice – both times in secret. When they are discussing an issue that affects the whole community, this is unacceptable. We all need to collaborate together, especially after an election victory for a party that has not made climate change a priority.
According to Friends of the Earth research, Enfield’s performance on reducing carbon emissions is poor compared to other local authority areas. They argue the borough particularly needs to do better on increasing use of public transport, cycling and walking, improving home insulation, and renewable energy. Researchers at the Tyndall Centre say Enfield should reduce emissions by at least 13% per year. This needs to be monitored by the whole community.
At Enfield Voices we interviewed the three winning election candidates about their views on climate change and hope to work with them in the next parliament. We are also creating a list of advisors and specialists to help steer us in developing community action and to advise on what steps the council should take.
This will be a critical year, where we will see how serious government, businesses and local councils are about limiting emissions.
The inaugural meting of EnCaf takes place at the Dugdale Centre on Wednesday 22nd January, from 7pm. If you know an organisation that might like to join EnCaf:
Email [email protected]
View the latest EnCaf newsletter: