What we're reading
17 September 2019
After LGA conference in July, it was pretty clear that there was an appetite for not just the sharing of best practice by Labour in local government in tackling climate change, but also for the sharing of campaign materials and up-to-date developments in the climate change agenda.
You’ll hopefully be about to have a good look through all the best practice to get some good ideas for your council (or have already had a look!) but we’ll also be sharing weekly blogs from Labour councillors, MPs, think tank colleagues and many other people with interesting things to say about how we tackle climate change!
As part of this, every fortnight, Martha Lauchlan, the LGA Labour Group’s Political Administrator and myself will take it in turns to write a blog about interesting stuff we’ve read or watched about climate change over the last few weeks. Hopefully it will offer a bit of food for thought for those of you working in this area – it’s likely to include, but not be limited to, blogs, videos and news stories about climate change.
To kick off with, I’ve found the following useful or interesting in the last few weeks.
With more and more councils declaring a climate emergency, how to tackle it has risen sharply up the agenda for council leadership. This is a new area for most people and as such other functions of the council need to respond to it too, not just the “doing” of it. Our friends over at the Centre for Public Scrutiny have written about scrutinising work on climate emergencies – you can have a read here.
In amongst the ongoing saga of Brexit and a snap general election (Brenda from Bristol, I hear ya), leading environmental groups have issued an important warning to the Chancellor about the need for proper funding to tackle climate change. They warned that to take proper action, the money spent on tackling climate change would have to increase from the current £17bn per year to £42bn per year over the next three years, and that the 2050 deadline for becoming zero carbon needed to be brought forward.
I read the Extinction Rebellion Handbook over the weekend. Whilst I didn’t agree with everything in there, it was a useful and thought provoking read, and given the energy that Extinction Rebellion have added to the debate and action around climate change, I’m glad I read it to understand the movement better as we’re only going to be hearing more from them over the coming months. I’ve still got concerns over how inclusive they are as a movement, but it’s worth a read if you want to learn more about them or if you’ve got an active group in your area.
The BBC ran a story after the UK’s former Chief Scientist branded climate change as “scary” due to the pace of extreme weather events. The UN’s weather chief hit back saying that such language could cause young people to become depressed and anxious about climate change. What do you think – was the former Chief Scientist right to say that?
If you read or watch anything interesting about climate change or the environment do send it through to Martha or myself on our LGA email addresses!