At the end of August, all five councils in Somerset were targeted by Extinction Rebellion over investments in fossil fuels by the councils’ pension fund.
Somerset is on the front line of climate change. Climate Change has caused, and is predicted to cause, a much greater risk of flooding and extreme weather. After the devastating floods of the Somerset Levels in 2013, Somerset County Council saw the terrible impact of climate change first hand. The Council recognises the potential impacts of climate change yet its pension fund invests over £120,000,000 in the very fossil fuel companies that are causing climate change!
Since 2015, Greens in Mendip have been leading the call for Somerset County Council to divest from fossil fuel.
Green Party district councillor for Frome Keyford, Shane Collins, who is leading the campaign for the SCC pension fund to divest, said: “Somerset County Council recognises that it must do whatever it can to tackle climate change and it has a responsibility to divest from an industry that jeopardises the future of our planet.”
“Instead of fossil fuel investment, SCC Pension Fund Committee should invest in solutions to climate change; investments that protect pensions and planet, joining The British Medical Association, Bristol City Council, and Oxford City Council – who have all recently agreed to make the commitment to no direct investment in the fossil fuel industry.”
Please sign our petition, and share widely.
Over one thousand people so far have signed the petition urging the council to heed the advice of financial experts and remove its investments from overvalued fossil fuel companies, but so far the council seems unwilling to acknowledge how it contributes to climate change with these unwise investments.
There is a very promising development in the tree planting front here in Glastonbury as I discovered when I met up with Green Town Councillor Ian Mutch recently.
A number of flourishing Crack Willows (Salix fragilis) are to be found on the Sydenhams Timber yard side of the Mill Stream rivulet running alongside Beckery Road.
Cllr. Mutch planted the small seedlings over the past two years and they are growing magnificently in their new homes.
This is what is hoped to be the first of a large number of seedlings which will be planted in the Glastonbury and Street area over the next few years.
Cllr. Brian Outten
PRESS RELEASE: Glastonbury Declares Climate Emergency.
by Dr Richard Tabor.
Published in the Central Somerset Gazette on Thursday, 28th February 2019.
In a rare moment of consensus ten of eleven Glastonbury Town Council members attending a meeting depleted by illness on Tuesday 12th February voted to pass a motion declaring a Climate Emergency put forward by two former mayors. Only Conservative representative and County Councillor Terry Napper abstained as other members from all parties voted in favour.
Green Party councillor Jon Cousins spoke to the motion which was supported by his colleague, Emma George. Citing the dire consequences of a 1.5 degree rise in global temperatures highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming’s 2018 special report on Climate Change the council’s ambitious Climate Emergency committed Glastonbury to:
“1) Continue to show foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having adopted an Environmental Charter, opposed fracking in the Mendips and throughout the UK, installed solar panels on the Town Hall roof, and banned single use plastics;
2) pledge to make the operation of Glastonbury Town Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.”
After reading out the motion Councillor Cousins spoke of the “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”, reminding his colleagues that Climate Change is a serious issue effecting everyone. He noted that Town Councillors as representatives of the community needed to take action because seemingly insignificant every-day actions, such as discarding a plastic bag, can have far reaching consequences as demonstrated by the vast amount of plastic waste floating in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
He went on to say that the decisions we make now as individuals, as communities and as a nation will be judged by our children and grandchildren who will have to deal with the consequences. In calling for the motion to be adopted he concluded that the council had a duty to future generations to be on the ‘right side of history’. He received eloquent support from Councillor Emma George who explained that other Councils across the UK had already passed similar motions and had pledged to make their towns carbon neutral by 2030. Only Councillor Napper was unwilling to support the motion as he felt that the word ‘pledge’ was too strong. The passing of the vote was received with huge cheer from an uncharacteristically full public gallery.
Glastonbury’s Green Councillors are absolutely delighted that – this evening – Glastonbury Town Council declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ and pledged to make the operation of Council carbon neutral by 2030; with cross-party support for the Climate Emergency Motion proposed and seconded by Green Councillors Lindsay MacDougall and Jon Cousins.
Climate Emergency Motion:
In light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming’s 2018 special report on Climate Change – warning of the dire consequences of a 1.5 degree rise in global temperatures, and highlighting the need for rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – this Council declares a ‘Climate Emergency’ and will:
1) continue to show foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having adopted an Environmental Charter, opposed fracking in the Mendips and throughout the UK, installed solar panels on the Town Hall roof, and banned single use plastics;
2) pledge to make the operation of Glastonbury Town Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.
Have you got that burning sense of injustice and would like to channel it on the front line of debate? …then please come and stand with us!
There are many ways in which you can help get your voice heard:
- if you are not a member already? Please join Glastonbury & Street Green Party
- already a member! Why not stand for the Green Party – on Thursday, 2nd May 2019 – in the up-and-coming District, Town, and Parish elections?
- volunteer with us – distributing leaflets, staffing our stalls, helping us at events!
In Glastonbury, there are 16 seats on the Town Council, and we already have more Town Council candidates confirmed than any of the other parties! However, we want 16 GSGP members to stand; ‘a full slate’ – which proved a winning strategy last time.
Find out more, please contact Christine Prior – Local Party Contact & Membership Secretary, e-mail: email@example.com