Green Drinks – a Lammars class…

MCFly’s editor gave a spiel tonight about the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan, at the latest Green Drinks, organised by Emma and Rose from aecom.

Green Drinks does what it says on the tin – a relaxed networking/discussion event. In a past life it had more of a social enterprise/NGO vibe, but now it’s slightly more ‘green business professionals’. But both have been welcoming and interesting, and you can nurse one pint all night (though cheers to the three people who bought my rounds in tonight!)

After a) turning up late – thanks to everyone who voted against the TIF, job well done you $%&^£s,  b) dishing out the latest MCFly, c) advertising the Thurs 21st October “Growing Pains” event (subtitle: can Manchester reach its climate targets without a steady-state economy) at the Friends Meeting House from 7pm, and d) twisting people’s arms to fill in a survey (available online here), an outline of the history and future of the Climate Change Action Plan was given (you can see some MCFly youtube videos about it and climate governance here).
Manchester City Council opened up its policy making process around climate change last year and shepherded into existence the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan (you can see the MCFly Bluffer’s Guide here).

The plan – which is for everyone, not just them in Castle Grayskull – calls for a 41% cut in C02 emissions by 2020, and the creation of a ‘low carbon culture’.

The City Council’s own carbon footprint is only 5% of the total, so they know they need everyone on board.
They are about to release their own “Internal Delivery Plan” (reported next week on the MCFly website)

They have a “Stakeholder Conference” coming up on Tuesday 30th November. Steve Connor, of the Steering Group, explained that invites are first going to go out to the groups who’ve not been involved (trades unions, churches/mosques, community groups etc), then to endorsers/usual suspects and then opened up to the public. It’s free, it’s at the Museum of Science and Industry (scene of the carbon crime, or evidence room, anyhow), and it’s a must-go-to. 9Am to 4pm, followed by drinks.

Then the gaps got a mention

  • the unwillingness to think that maybe endless economic growth is not compatible with carbon reduction targets, let alone a habitable planet
  • the pretending that international aviation emissions are never going to end up plunked in Manchester’s climate budget. (The Airport, inevitably, was a topic of keen discussion!)
  • the cold feet about advocating meat-reducing/ vegetarianism as a means of personally reducing carbon emissions
  • the lack of preparedness for peak oil (when it comes, be it in three years or ten)
  • the lack of clarity over how/where/when the plan is improved upon
  • the lack of scrutiny mechanisms.

People were then coercively mingled and asked to answer two questions.

First up- “what have you done that deserves to be more widely publicised”

Answers included

  • gave up flying in April 2009
  • installing a 3kW solar array
  • cycling
  • recycling
  • volunteering/community engagement
  • skip-diving
  • working for an ecologically-minded events organising company

On the question of getting beyond the ghetto of white, university educated, middle-class people;

  • working in schools (Manchester Environmental Education Network got a mention)
  • having speakers from other demographics
  • instilling sense of local pride
  • making things locally relevant.
  • and as a commenter on the pre-Green Drinks post wrote – not having them at plush venues?  Dunno….

More drinks, wrapped up with MCFly urging folks to sign up for Tuesday November 30th, and go along having read the plan and with awkward questions to ask. Be a little transruptive


About dwighttowers

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3 Responses to Green Drinks – a Lammars class…

  1. Patrick Sudlow says:

    Sorry I missed your presentation, if I had known you were going to speak later on I might of turned up. You are correct I do have a chip on my shoulder as I have always felt looked down upon when attending some of these Green functions. Even the short period I was in the Green Party I got the feeling certain people looked down their nose at me. If as a long time supporter of environmental and economical problems I feel discomfort with attending Green venues. How do they think they will engage with the wider population?

  2. David Henry says:

    Green Drink’s isn’t a Green Party event, but the Greens have held a similar social event called “green drinks” for many years – not to be confused with the one in this article held at posh nosh venue “Lamars”- which I would agree with Patrick tends to be very elitist and snobby. Is there more to this than just a networking event for hipster professionals?

    • dwighttowers says:

      I’ve been in Manchester for 10 years, and following the environmental “scene” for about 5. I am aware of two “green drinks” events organised by the Green Party. I went to one, which was 90% green party people and 10% “other.” That’s not to say it wasn’t worth doing, and that other events can’t happen. But am not sure if “hipster professionals” (a group I think we can both agree I am not a member of) are therefore supposed NOT to meet for drinks and discussion? Or is there some other point that I am not getting?

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