World leaders meet in Copenhagen this December to discuss whether our species wants its civilisation to continue (that’s no exaggeration, it IS that stark). Today, as we publish a slightly-earlier-than-usual MCFly, some readers will be among those ‘swooping’ on the second biggest coal-fired power station in the UK. They aim to shut it down (non-violently) and then use the momentum and skills gained to go to Copenhagen. Other readers will attend a conference entitled “Climate Action Now,” organised by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, who focus on a march called “the Wave” on December 5th, in London. We wish both sets of readers a safe and informative time of it.
Both events are organised by highly motivated and dedicated people, and will be attended by Mancunians who care passionately about justice for unborn generations and for other species on this planet. All work hard at what they do. But they only have so much time, so much energy, and with the end of the Copenhagen-process in sight, there is a deadly important challenge to turn their attentions to. We refer of course to … Manchester City Council.
MCFly has been reporting all year about the creation of a Climate Change Action Plan for the city of Manchester. In January the Council released its “Call to Action.” In April, local campaigners with no money but a lotta bottle released their “Call to Real Action.” The Council sat up and took notice, using the C2RA methodology to create writing groups around buildings, energy, transport, green spaces and sustainable consumption. Most writers came from the Council, academia, and business, with a smattering of Concerned Citizens.
That plan – which also acknowledges the need to adapt to inevitable changes ahead – is now in the very very final stages of drafting and re-shaping for public consumption. It will be ratified on November 18 and commits Manchester to a 41% cut in its emissions by 2020. The Call to Real Action group will be launching its response and its vision of “A day in the life of a low-carbon Mancunian” on Monday November 30.
The desired ‘outreach and engagement’ during the writing process was weak to non-existent. But the Council has tried, and knows it must do better. It held a well-attended mini-Conference on Monday October 12th (see the MCFly blog for a report). It knows the Plan will need revision (it prefers the term ‘iterative process’ – it sounds more scientific). It knows it cannot do this alone. MCFly knows that bureaucratic inertia, political realities and the inevitable funding cuts ahead threaten the Plan’s success. Without critical friends, who relentlessly poke with kind words and sharp metaphorical sticks, this Plan will be just another glossy document sat on the shelf. Whether you believe in d-locks or ballot boxes, both or neither, we can surely all agree that can’t happen. We can’t run, we can’t hide. We must act.
Thurs Nov 5– Call to Real Action meeting at Friends Meeting House, from 7pm
Weds Nov 11– the Climate Change Action Plan becomes publicly available ahead of…
Weds Nov 18– it is ratified by Manchester City Council’s Executive meeting
Late November– some sort of official launch event (Health Warning: May contain moppets)
Mon Nov 30– Call to Real Action’s responses are launched at Nexus Cafe, Dale St from 7pm.
December A Council-led festival from Sunday 13th to coincide with the second week of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.
2010 The real fun and games of ‘delivery delivery delivery’ and further ‘iterations’.