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Council fails to put sound science at the heart of decision making

Bernard’s speech on Carbon Reduction Framework amendment.

3rd June 2009.
“This Carbon Reduction Framework is NOT “a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions”.

It fails to put sound science at the at heart of Council’s decision
making and turns its back on the carbon footprint reduction plan that
was supported by this administration when in opposition.

It fails to recognise that a low carbon economy can provide a new era of progress and prosperity.

At its core remains the mistaken idea that there is a conflict between
the environment and the economy.
Why…… when the risk of enormous changes to our climate are so well documented… do we carrying on with policies..like Sheffield Economic Masterplan… that actually increase emissions?
Where is the evidence of strong leadership that will ensure that
environmental sustainability runs through everything the Council does? [A city of opportunity Corporate Plan 2008-11]
Where is the actual on the ground commitment to “cut the waffle and start creating actual green jobs” [Nick Clegg “Inside Housing Summer 2009 Footprint magazine page 3.]
Why do we not heed the words of Jenny Brown of Christian Aid who said…”it is no good just thinking about making poverty history,
because climate change will make poverty permanent”. (Sheffield World Development Movement seminar on climate change 1st March 2009].
To postpone REAL action to tackle rising emissions because of the global financial crisis would be a serious mistake. The key lesson we should learn from the economic collapse is that we should act on evidence before it becomes a crisis.

We need to act now…wait another ten or fifteen years and it will be
much more difficult or maybe impossible to act.

Delivering a low carbon economy can deliver lasting and substantial
economic, social and environmental benefits.

Cutting fuel bills through better energy efficiency is ever more
important.

We will be prepared for the end of cheap fuel.

Jobs in the green economy, will bring a new sense of purpose and
confidence.

Greater food self reliance and the ability to produce what we can here will create local jobs, cut food miles and unnecessary global trade.

Local communities, skilled up to live more self reliant lives, will
bring greater social stability and well being.

Ensuring an environment that is able to support life means we can secure the future and our children’s lives……. and our pensions will be safe.

Lets not shirk our responsibilities at this critical moment.

If we as a local authority can cut emissions by 60% by 2025 lets work in a constructive way with central government to make it happen. There is not the time to wait for Barack Obama to send a sign the world is to be put on a low carbon path…given that corporate interests will resist his intentions..it may never never happen. Meanwhile lets do as much as we can now… on our doorstep ….in Sheffield.

Sheffield claims to be the U.K’s greenest city.

Lets make it that way, put the plans for a low carbon economy at the heart of all we do and vote for our amendment.”

Topics: City Wide, Climate Change, Council, Energy, Local Campaigns, Policy

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