I know the last year has been really difficult for my constituents across Hallam. The pandemic, and its huge physical and mental repercussion on our lives, has been at the front and centre of all of our minds, and rightly so.
But the climate and ecological emergency isn’t going away. Its effects are increasingly being felt throughout the world – including at home here in Yorkshire. Action is urgently needed if we are going to curb the worst effects of this crisis.
In November 2021, world leaders will meet in Glasgow at the UN Climate Summit, COP26. As co-hosts, this could be a huge opportunity for the UK to push for the radical action needed. Action that gets us back on track to net-zero emissions and limits the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees C, whilst ensuring a just and fair transition internationally and at home.
But if the government’s track record on the climate is anything to go by, there is a very strong possibility that this summit will be more of the same: half hearted targets and broken promises.
If we’re going to stand a chance of acting with the urgency that is needed we need to start now. I want to bring the issues that will be discussed at this summit back to the people of Hallam, so we can build a vision of what a green recovery looks like in our community. And so we can take this vision to the UK Government and to world leaders at COP26.
Over the next 9 months I am going to be holding a series of (virtual!) climate assemblies with Hallam residents, covering ten key topics:
- Green Public Transport
- Financing Decarbonisation
- Agriculture and food production
- Healthy neighbourhoods
- A clean energy revolution
- International Justice
- A green industrial strategy
- Nature and biodiversity
- Adaption and mitigation
- Democracy, accountability and a just transition
Each climate assembly will include a speaker from across the movement, from national unions to local campaigners, and will be an opportunity for Hallam residents to set the agenda, and discuss what action we want to see come out of COP26.
We will then draw this together into our very own Hallam Citizens’ Climate Manifesto, which we can take to the UK Government before the UN Summit later this year.
So join me for our first climate assembly on 4th February at 5.30pm, to discuss how public transport should be transformed in Hallam (and beyond) to tackle the climate crisis. We will hear from Gareth from the Trade Unions Congress, who is leading their Better Buses for South Yorkshire campaign, and a member of my team who is leading on my campaign to reopen Sheaf Valley’s stations. You can read more about the event here, and you can RSVP below: