“The world has reached a ‘pivotal moment’ and must change course in the next two years or risk runaway climate change” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres, September 2018
Climate Change is pretty terrifying, when you stop to think about its effect on us, our children/grandchildren and other people right across the globe. It is already affecting many aspects of our lives and this is just the start of it. From storms, floods, food shortages and migration as a consequence of problems elsewhere, with such a big issue it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as an individual.
The Bishop’s Stortford Climate Group was formed in December 2015 as as response to the hope and concern generated by the International Climate Change talks in Paris. We aim to raise awareness of climate change on a local and national level and to help local people, businesses and government to take positive action to reduce the dangers of climate change. Since climate change is predicted to, or already is, affecting every aspect of our lives there is huge scope for effective action. We aim to choose issues that we can effectively influence, and which are local but have a wider impact and to work with other community groups where appropriate.
Our current priorities are:
- to support East Hertfordshire Council to introduce tighter development approval criteria, for example through a Supplementary Planning Document
- to help schools address climate change by reducing their use of fossil fuels, improving their waste management and through their educational activities
- to support tree planting in the area
- to engage public directly on the need to address climate change and how they can personally make changes
- to work with councils and other local groups to support sustainable travel, for example through provision of additional facilities and information to promote walking and cycling
New ideas for action are always welcome.
We hold meetings each month to review progress on our projects, to set priorities for taking action, and to discuss new ideas. Anyone is welcome to join the meetings to see what we do, make suggestions for new activities or to help with our plans.
2019 general election
For the December 2019 general election, we canvassed the candidates for their views and summarised the commitments on climate change in the party manifestos:
- Statements on climate change from candidates in the Hertford and Stortford constituency in the general election, December 2019
- Summary of the party manifestos
Climate emergency petition
We promoted a petition to East Herts Council to declare a Climate Emergency. This was presented to the council meeting on 25th July 2019 where a Climate Change motion was approved.
We respond to planning applications for large-scale developments and have recently objected to the proposals for new housing at Gilston as the application does not give a credible analysis to show that the development will reach net zero carbon.
We are campaigning for East Herts council to adopt higher energy efficiency and carbon emission standards for new developments, and have written a Supplementary Planning Document showing the targets that East Herts could adopt.
Bishop’s Stortford carnival
Our stand at the Bishop’s Stortford carnival showcased electric bicycles and was a great opportunity to talk to people about climate change and how to address it.