Hello and welcome! This issue has the usual updates, reports and interesting stories on local and national environmental issues. We also have some news about the newsletter!
We are planning to go down to a quarterly rather than bi-monthly newsletter from now on. This is because producing a good quality newsletter takes time, and we’d rather spend more time making sure it’s the best it can possibly be, rather than rush out an issue for the sake of it.
For anybody who wants to find out what we’re up to between issues, make sure you check out our website, facebook page, or twitter feed. We’ll also be sending e-mailings out a little more often to make up for the reduced number of newsletters. We hope people aren’t too disappointed, and please do get in touch with any comments or queries.
Energy & Climate Change
The recent floods appear to be subsiding as I write this, but Climate Change means that they will be happening more and more often. Birmingham may have escaped this time, but research carried out by Friends of the Earth (EWNI) showed that there are over 10,000 homes at risk of flooding across the city, over 2,300 of those are judged to be at significant risk. Never has the case for tackling Climate Change been made so dramatically!
One way of tackling this is through Friends of the Earth’s new as-yet-unnamed community energy campaign. This aims to get schools to take-up solar energy, and through this create a movement of people pushing for, and creating, more community renewable energy. We’re starting by looking at primary schools in Birmingham and what they and our local authority are already doing. If you’re from a primary school who already has solar panels, or would interested in setting some up in your school, then get in touch!
The government has finally launched the draft of its National Pollinator Strategy which it promised back in June. It’s a bit weak, so the race is on to convince the Government to make it as strong as possible during the 8 week consultation period. We are asking people to sign the petition calling for a stronger Strategy, and for people to respond to the consultation. Go to: http://bit.ly/1cWxzar to add your name to the petition, and go to http://bit.ly/N9IJSk to respond to the Government consultation.
We have now submitted our response to the Birmingham Development Plan. We generally felt that whilst not perfect, it was good. There were some contradictions, most notably between building out into the greenbelt and trying to develop a sustainable transport system. You can read our submission in full by going to http://bit.ly/1jc0KKn
Birmingham City Council Cabinet have approved a pilot of 20mph limits in parts of the city over the next two years. Based on the results, the scheme will be rolled out across the city after that point. As this is something we campaigned on for many years, we’re obviously very pleased that it’s finally happening! Well done to everyone who helped make it happen!
The big news on the Let’s Get Moving front is that the EU has started proceedings to take the UK government to court over its failure to tackle Nitrogen Dioxide levels in 16 cities across the country. Over the next few months we’ll be stepping up our Let’s Get Moving campaign to make sure that we at least take what action we can locally!