Winchester Action on Climate Change welcomed Winchester City Council’s decision to prioritise working towards a lower carbon and promoting a low carbon economy when the Council revised the Winchester Community Strategy at Cabinet on 4 December 2013.

Over three-quarters of almost 250 people who replied to the Council’s consultation asked for climate change to be high on the list of priorities. “This is an overwhelming vote of support for the Council to prioritise climate change”, said Angela Sealey, Vice-chair of WinACC.

WinACC also congratulated the Council on developing specific plans towards a low carbon district, especially on the low carbon economy, and to encourage cycling, walking and public transport in place of private cars.

Chris Holloway, WinACC's Director, told the Chronicle: “WinACC is pulling together a one-page plan showing clearly how to hit our target for lower greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the steps are already being implemented by local people and the City Council. What we now need is to work out exactly how much the different steps will save, so that we can measure our progress towards creating a lower carbon district. This means creating as much renewable energy as we can to replace the fossil fuels that release greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, and being more efficient about how we use energy at home, in the workplace and in our public services.

WinACC Chris asks anyone who has views about what they think is most important, or wants to contribute their ideas to email her at chris@winacc.org.uk to tell her.

Notes to editors:

1.         Full text of speech to Cabinet by Angela Sealey is at the end of this document.

2.         See item 8 of the agenda for Winchester City Council Cabinet on 4 December to read the full Council report.

3.         Winchester Action on Climate Change was formed in October 2007 to engage every household and organisation in Winchester district in cutting the carbon footprint of the district by 30% between 2004 and the end of 2015.

4.         WinACC runs regular meetings throughout the year to get the Winchester community engaged in climate change and lowering carbon emissions.

5.         For further information visit winacc.org.uk or call Chris Holloway, Director on 01962 827083 / 07779 283451 or email press@winacc.org.uk

6.         Winchester Action on Climate Change Ltd is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales with company registration no. 08013043. Our registered office is Room 163, Main Building, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR. We are also a registered charity in England and Wales with charity no 1150754.

SPEECH

"Thank you for giving me this chance to speak. I am Angela Sealey, Vice-chair of WinACC, which I am sure you all know works with Winchester City Council in partnership to cut the carbon footprint of the district.

"Thank you for listening to the public. Over three-quarters of almost 250 people who commented on your draft wanted to see climate change in it, and only one person was pleased to see it go. This is an overwhelming vote of support for the Council to prioritise climate change.

"I also wanted to congratulate you on developing specific plans towards a low carbon district: the cycling strategy, the route map to a low carbon economy, the car parking strategy (we hope, depending on how it develops), and perhaps shortly a public transport strategy and a walking strategy too.

"WinACC, at the invitation of the Climate Change Programme Board, is drawing together an overall plan of the eight steps to cut 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and many of the steps are already being implemented by the Council.

"I don't need to repeat why this matters: you all know that climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change major report in October stated clearly that it is beyond reasonable doubt that climate change is caused by human action. It warns of the very serious consequences for humanity if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced dramatically and quickly. The government’s four most recent Chief Science Advisers all agree that the science is clear, global warming is real and humanity has caused climate change.

"Government figures show that we need to do more to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that result from Winchester District. The most important of all is that the Council tells people of its commitment to create a lower carbon Winchester district for the sake of our children and grandchildren. WinACC is pleased that this report shows that you have the bravery to display leadership. Thank you."