An Appeal to Tywyn Town Council for 13th February 2019
Extreme weather events in the last few years have presented severe challenges to transport, agriculture and other services. Unless we act on climate, we collectively face the greatest threat to our local and global environment. According to October’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C report, humanity has 12 years to take the action needed to turn this around, so that we can avoid reaching tipping points where we no longer have the ability to avoid extreme weather events. It is clear to many of us that we must act locally and globally.
A motion calling on Machynlleth City Council to declare a climate emergency, inspired by the IPCC report, was passed on 17th December, with unanimous support thereby showing a commitment to play a part in avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown. Powys County Council, Bristol, Oxford, Manchester and many other cities, nationally and internationally, have also declared a Climate Emergency.
We, the undersigned, therefore call for a motion on the Tywyn Town Council agenda of 13th February 2019 to:
- Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
- Support a community-led consultation enabled by Greener Tywyn Gwyrdd to develop an action plan to:
- reduce Tywyn’s Greenhouse gas emissions to net zero as soon as possible;
- make Tywyn more resilient to climate impacts (eg strong winds/ higher tides/drought);
- maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as health, agriculture, transport and the economy;
- Call on Wales and UK Government to provide the support and resources to make this possible;
- Work with other local organisations, particularly the community councils and other partners in the area.
- Discuss with Renew Wales how they might support this process.
We recommend the following wording for Tywyn Town Council to recognise the climate emergency:
All governments (local, regional and national) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Change, and local governments should include in their plans:
- The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be a key priority;
- A commitment to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of the people of Tywyn using the approach outlined in Wales’ pioneering ‘Well-being of Future Generations Act’.
- It is vital that rural communities play their part in reducing carbon emissions, especially as there are potential benefits for land-use;
- Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people locally and worldwide).
Appendix for “An Appeal to Tywyn Town Council for 13th February 2019”
Initial ideas for an ‘inclusive consultation’ process for Tywyn
Numerous organisations have been working tirelessly for many years to try to prevent climate change, but action must happen faster. Business as usual is clearly no longer an option. We need local wisdom and action to increase our resilience and to prepare for the changes already in the system. Tywyn can play its role in preventing dangerous and extreme weather events.
Build climate action and resilience plans for Tywyn through a dialogue process, perhaps by integrating these considerations into the Council’s existing intention to engage the community and businesses in conversations about the future of the town.
Why: Effective plans are based on well-informed and collaborative decisions, potential problems are more easily solved and unnecessary conflicts avoided. Increased ownership of the process, with mutual learning & understanding, can increase social cohesion.
- The process is bilingual from the outset, using clear terms and accessible language
- Engagement with County Council, Welsh Government, Dyfi Biosphere to seek new resources
- Mapping key stakeholder groups in the area.
- Mapping of key drivers and local potential benefits.
- Engage with support offered by Renew Wales ‘carbon conversations’
- An inclusive, impartial process that works well in hearing views and ideas for action from all sectors of the community.
- Identify common values.
- Inclusive draft of action plan with a range of potential options.
- ‘Public Launch’ to raise the profile of Tywyn.
- Progress and evaluation as part of Tywyn Town Council’s annual programme.
- Share what we learn with other towns
Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.
The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities.
Climate change is already having disastrous impacts on people in developing countries where most of the people affected produce very low carbon emissions themselves.
Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.
Sign the petition here!
- Machynlleth Climate Emergency Declaration: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46961053
- UK Climate Emergency Declarations: https://climateemergency.uk/blog/category/climate-emergency/
- David Attenborough addressing the World Economic Forum: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jan/21/david-attenborough-tells-davos-the-garden-of-eden-is-no-more
- World Resources Institute: https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/10/8-things-you-need-know-about-ipcc-15-c-report
- The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
- For details of the Bristol Declaration visit https://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/greens-declare-a-climate-emergency-and-bring-bristols-co2-emissions-target-forwards-20-years?p=1104&fbclid=IwAR1LYxvgeHfgJYqZa3Iwsp-dSGmySCM-7frvzPWOF7a5XikxJKvRRKN1qFA#.W-tgkpHcaPE.facebook
- Manchester Council’s plans: http://www.manchesterclimate.com/manchester-2038
- Up to date assessment of how the UK may change https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46343103
- Renew Wales https://www.renewwales.org.uk/
- Multi-solving: Methodology and examples to enhance co-benefits in other sectors such as health, transport and local economy https://www.climateinteractive.org/programs/multisolving/what-is-multisolving/
- 2018 Emissions Gap Report https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2018