28 January 2019
MK Green Party welcomes the declaration of a Climate Emergency and the adoption of the Sustainability Strategy by MK Council on January 23rd. Several Green Party members spoke in support of the motions.
Catherine Rose said, ‘It is difficult not to sound dramatic, even – to use a loaded word – hysterical, when discussing climate breakdown. Yet we have been told by climate scientists that we are a mere 12 years away from the tipping point beyond which the earth will cease to be a benign home for humankind and for billions of other life-forms, and when climate chaos will threaten our existence.
Milton Keynes offers a lot, as the strategy says – excellent waste and recycling processes (though obviously it’s better not to create waste in the first place), over 300 car charging points where other similar sized towns such as Maidstone has only three, and so on.
To make Milton Keynes ‘the greenest city in the world’ is still going to take a lot of work. You can't just wave this through and then call yourselves green because you have said so. I call on you to ensure that you draw on expert opinion and up to date scientific knowledge, and on major existing resources such as the Drawdown Project, in order to make this movement as effective as possible. I need to say to you, MY council: we need leadership, we need action, and we need it from YOU.’
Alan Francis said,
‘We welcome the principle of MK becoming carbon neutral by 2030. But the headline carbon neutrality statement is watered down by "Seek to” and "Strive to”. "Seek to” and "Strive to” are weasel words. We need a firm commitment.
The Vision is dependent upon growth, which is inherently unsustainable.
David Attenborough at the Davos summit said: “Growth is going to come to an end, either suddenly or in a controlled way,” he explained, citing the old joke that anyone who thinks you can have infinite growth in finite circumstances is “either a madman or an economist”.
Many of the council’s current policies conflict with this strategy yet there is nothing about changing those policies. For example the Sustainability strategy has a principle of "Reducing the level of emissions from transport". Yet MK Council has a policy that supports the East West Expressway that will increase car use and thus emissions from transport.
There is little of real substance in the strategy. We are promised that there will be more detail in a Delivery plan to be published by summer 2019. The council has a poor record of producing such plans on time. It must ensure that this Delivery plan really is ready by the summer of this year and that it is implemented.’
Note: For the texts of the motions passed by the council see:
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