Statements and petitions
- Meeting of Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, Tuesday, 7th September 2021 6.00 p.m. (Item 22.)
Notice of representations to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Thursday 2September 2021 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 11.1.
Petitions may be presented to the Committee. The person presenting the petition will be allowed to address the meeting briefly (not exceeding one minute) to outline the aims of the petition. The Chair will refer the matter to another appropriate body of the Council within whose terms of reference it falls without discussion, unless a relevant item appears elsewhere on the Agenda. Please give notice of petitions to email@example.com in advance of the meeting.
Councillor Liz Grey made the following statement to the Committee and presented Members with books she had purchased.
We are not moving far or fast enough on the environment and climate emergency crisis and this is deeply frustrating. In many cases it is not down to lack of political will and I believe that when we declared an environmental and climate emergency in July 2019 it was heartfelt for most of us. But when Councillor Brame quoted Greta Thunberg he really meant it and when Tony Norbury referred to the critical choices we face regarding a habitable or uninhabitable planet in the future that was also from the heart. I know that when I said we needed to learn from the war generation on how to live within our means or rather within our planetary boundaries I certainly hoped we would have achieved more than we have now as a Council, as a country and as an international community. In July 2019 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said we had a decade to sort things out before they became irreversible and catastrophic. They have recently declared that humanity is on red alert - code red for humanity. The Intergovernmental Panel on biological diversity and ecosystem services has also said that time is running out to stop a mass extinction all around us. Both climate change and biodiversity loss are devastating life on earth. I know how hard our officers have been working on this and just how committed most off them are. But this is something for us to be thinking about now. We should be rightly proud of what we have done as a Council but we need to do more. We are the ones as elected Members who need to give a steer on policies. At this critical juncture before as we head towards COP 15 and COP 26 are we going to guide the Council to do the right thing in transport and environment policies or not? Are we going to make the difficult decisions and explain to our residents why we must make sacrifices in our daily lives now to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a recognisable safe and viable planet on which to live in the not too distant future? COP 15 on biodiversity is still going ahead soon though fragmented and online at first. COP 26 on climate change is still being planned and each of these conferences needs to make radical promises for all our sakes. Our governments then need to act. We can’t save the world just from this Committee but we absolutely must do everything within our power We have a variety of really experienced Councillors around the table here in all parties bringing all kinds of life experience and understanding to this Committee and we need to harness that and work together. Remind me if you get political. I’m just as prone as everybody else to party politics and I urge you and your parties not to use the environment for any political campaigns. It’s just too big. it. The questions regarding our carbon literacy was spot on. If we are to avoid partisan positioning and petty campaigning and if we are to really work together to address the biodiversity crisis, and the climate crisis then we will need to be fully informed and up to date on the facts about these problems and we need to address them here in Wirral. We will need carbon literacy training and I commend each of the Councillors and officers that had already given up precious free time to attend the training. I know that others are signed up to the next round and we will become a carbon literate organisation. In preparation for Cop 15 and COP 26 I have been reading and rereading some key books and one of the very best is David Attenborough’s latest book on his life and his work charting the increasing problems of habitat loss and climate change. I would be grateful if Members would accept as a small gift from me a copy of this book which I will also give to the Chief Exec and the Leader of the Council. I do have alternatives to those of you who have read it already as I know you are interested in this. I did think possibly about resigning in protest at us not getting enough done but I know I’m not significant enough for that to have much impact or achieve anything so I do hope that you can accept this gift in the spirit with which it is intended, read and work together to move further and faster in response to the devastating environmental problems we all face.