Climate change is a theme across all of Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s campaigns, and the issues we focus on always represent elements of how Birmingham might respond to the climate crisis. Leading up to and following on from the council declaration of a climate emergency in June 2019, BFOE have built up a climate change campaign to feed into this opportunity for more comprehensive, integrated and transformative climate action across the city and from the council.

Over the last year, then, we have been collaborating with other organisations to attend and feed into the council task force meetings (being held to inform the report expected later this year, after delays, which will set out the route to a net zero city). The second key focus of our campaigning has been community-focused, as part of which we have held two successful events, the first workshop focused on developing skills to engage with the climate emergency process, and the second aiming to build up a collective vision of Birmingham in 2030, imagining how life could be in a zero carbon city. Finally, we have kept a close eye on the council’s activity, making sure to highlight any measures or plans which are inconsistent with the changes required as a result of the commitment to action around the climate emergency.

Our priorities for the campaign will largely be the same going forward: holding the council to account, staying involved in the progress of the climate emergency process and keeping up the pressure to ensure that the original declaration of last year does indeed lead to meaningful and ambitious action which gets the city to zero carbon by 2030 in an effective, just and positive way. We will also continue making connections across the city and engaging people to make sure the inputs and outputs of the route to zero process are people-led. We look forward to continuing to hear from the people of Birmingham to shape our demands and build a united vision of the future of the city. As well as this, BFoE will continue to campaign on issues which play an important part feeding into the changes we need to see, like our current campaigns to double tree cover, and to tackle air pollution.

By Katy Potter