Make climate change an issue in the May 2017 County Council election
To keep global warming below 2 degrees, we need action locally as well as globally.
Please make sure that climate change is a high priority for Councillors. Climate change is too important to be a party political issue. We must make the planet safer for future generations and for all life on earth - animal, plant and human. The list of candidates is on the HCC website.
We must make it clear to politicians of all parties that there are votes in climate change. They say it's not a subject that people ask them about. So please make sure you do! When someone knocks on your door to ask you to vote for them, say you want more action from the County Council to tackle climate change. You want more renewable energy and you want cuts in overall energy use.
You could also write to candidates, and raise questions at public meetings.
Ask candidates and their canvassers the simple question "What will your party do about climate change?". Print WinACC's handy briefing and keep it by your front door. Use it to help you cross-question canvassers, and take it with you to any event where you have a chance to speak to any candidates.
2016 was the hottest year on record. More than one degree hotter than pre-industrial time.
Floods, storms, heat waves, droughts and wildfires are now much more common worldwide.Climate scientists increasingly can attribute climate change as the principal cause of many such events.
Climate change is melting ice which causes the oceans to expand and sea level to rise. This will threaten up to 187 million people worldwide this century.
The 2015 Paris Agreement commits us to keep global warming well below 2°C. The UK is also committed to cutting emissions by 80% by 2050 relative to 1990.
We can only achieve this if action is taken now at all levels - by governments at international, national and local levels and by individuals.
Three key areas to ask about
Will the candidate will press for Hampshire County Council to:
- Take a lead?
- Use its powers as our Transport Authority?
- Protect vulnerable people from the effects of climate change?
Here's more on these three key areas
To take a lead, will they press the County Council to:
- Divert more waste that could be recycled before it's burnt in the incinerators?
- Make a commitment to support and help fund local renewable energy such as wind, solar power, sustainable wood fuel and anaerobic digesters to provide electricity and heat? ?
- Refuse applications for fracking?
- Overturn its ban on wind farms on Council land?
- Encourage companies to drive less, insulate their buildings, shut shop doors, switch off lights at night, control heating and save energy?
To use its Transport Authority powers, will they press the County Council to:
- Spend transport budgets to enable walking and cycling instead of driving?
- Design roads to give priority to people on foot and cycling?
- Work with bus companies to get people out of the car and onto the bus – including more frequent and reliable bus services?
- Develop a coherent movement (traffic, walking, cycling etc ) plan to cut traffic and pollution in Winchester town?
To protect vulnerable people, will they press the County Council to:
- Plan now for overheating in summer, for flooding, storms and snow?
- Help people to save energy and keep their homes warmer and healthier?
See the list of Hampshire County Councillors for Winchester District.
Some facts to help you….
About climate change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in 2014 “.. greenhouse gas emissions ..are now higher than ever. ..Their effects .. are extremely likely [95-100% certain] to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”.
The emissions largely come from the burning of fossil fuels which has caused atmospheric carbon dioxide to now exceed 400 parts per million. This is 43% up on pre-industrial times, highest for 800,000 years and possibly 20 million years.
This high level of carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, is causing the Earth to warm up.
Can we avoid dangerous global warming of 2°C?
Only if immediate action is taken to cut emissions NOW.
195 governments meeting in Paris (COP 21) last in December 2015 recognised “ that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies”. The Paris Agreement entered into force in November 2016.
Climate modelling shows the world has less than 20 years to get to net zero emissions if we are to have a 2/3 chance of avoiding 2°C warming.