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Climate Justice, conflict prevention; more insulated homes from council please

Youth Strike for Climate

The Royal Institute for Foreign Affairs, Chatham House issued a risk assessment on 14 Sept 2021 which makes grim reading. They say our world is currently on course for worse levels of global climate disturbance than were targeted, (2.7 to 3degrees of warming), with only 1% chance of meeting 1.5 degrees warming targeted by UN summit in 2015.

As a consequence, Chatham house experts are looking at ‘cascading system risks’, which are likely, tragically, to lead to world agricultural yields falling by 30%, and 700million people exposed to severe drought. They say net zero carbon pledges by national governments are far from enough. “Cascading climate impacts will likely cause higher mortality rates, drive political instability and greater national insecurity, and fuel regional and international conflict.”

The good news is that, across Britain, even if not yet in Dover district or East Kent, councils are coming together, with local civil society, using the resource hub of Zero Carbon Britain based in Wales, shaped for and by determined local councils.

Examples from British local government include; Aberdeen, Lewes District Council, Stroud District council, Shropshire CC and Shropshire Climate Action Partnership, Welsh Govt, Nottingham City Council, Bristol, Norwich, Oxfordshire CC, Brighton and many others.

Sadly, in Kent there are too many local councils who brush aside the nature-based solutions to climate change that a 143 page report recommends for Kent, and too many councillors from old, complacent parties, who can’t even bother to turn up to climate committee meetings they sit on, who refuse to take large-scale action to insulate unhealthy homes in our towns to save tenants from fuel-poverty and make homes healthier.

Many of us, during the world climate summit in Glasgow, will be demanding our councils act now, this climate issue is not about public relations opportunities for those in power or deckchairs on the Titanic; there are large-scale, life-saving, life-changing, cost-effective policies that councils need to put in place now.

Sarah Gleave,
Dover & Deal Green Party 

Note: Edited version published in Mercury 20th Oct 2021.

Sarah Gleave