There’s growing realisation that we’re facing an era of environmental breakdown, headlined by the ‘climate emergency’.
In the Autumn of 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced dramatically by 2030 in order to keep warming below 1.5 °C. Above that impacts become increasingly dangerous and unmanageable.
This warning came shortly after summer heatwaves broke temperature records. Scientists then warned of the risks of runaway climate breakdown, including ‘Hothouse Earth’ with “serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies”.
Although there is uncertainty about the processes for environmental breakdown, it does look like we’re facing a closing window of opportunity to avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes.
Against this backdrop, Transition Stroud has welcomed Stroud District Council’s pledge to “do everything within the Council’s power to make Stroud District Carbon Neutral by 2030“. This includes a commitment to set out a Plan of Action for reaching carbon neutrality across the district by 2030, and for adaptation to try to deal with the impacts.
Like the Council, we believe that the 2030 target will only be achieved by working in partnership across community, public and business spheres.
In the light of the climate emergency, Transition Stroud has been through the first stage of a strategy review process. As a result, our ‘living strategy’ is now based on the vision that by 2030 Stroud district will be carbon neutral and local communities will be resilient. We have adopted a series of outcomes to further define the vision and provide aspirational statements to guide activities.
As part of the strategy, we have agreed that a programme of activities to encourage, enable and support local climate action groups is a high priority.
We have taken early steps to encourage and enable groups to form. These include publication of a briefing on good practice and resources, and organisation of group ‘start-up’ workshops in Stroud (28 April), Dursley (8 September) and Berkeley (17 November).
TS has established links with, supported and attended meetings of a range of local groups, including Carbon Neutral Horsley, Nailsworth Climate Action Town, Carbon Neutral Randwick, Carbon Zero Rodborough, and Wotton Climate Action Group.
TS is committed to liaising with and supporting new groups as they are created.
TS recognises that working with climate action groups in local communities will be critical to moving forward with a wide range of Carbon Neutral 2030 initiatives, covering energy, transport, food waste and environmental adaptation.
If you are interested in setting up a local ‘climate action’ group in your area, we might be able to help so please contact Fred Barker on firstname.lastname@example.org