Be the change you want to see. That sounds like a dreadful old cliché, but it’s the way we make a difference.
WI members are that change: they collect plastic litter from our beaches, they introduce bee-friendly plants to their gardens and source them from organic growers, they buy local produce, they invite strangers to their homes and lobby their MPs to tackle climate change. Just a few individuals. Or – nearly a quarter of a million WI members nationally, thinking, talking, involving their families and friends in their discussions – footsteps travelling out.
On 12th October the Government published its Clean Growth Strategy , outlining how it hopes to meet the nation’s legally binding goal of cutting emissions to 57% below 1990 levels by 2030. The strategy, with a foreword by Theresa May, highlights a shift away from viewing a low carbon economy as a cost, to one that embraces opportunities. The NFWI campaigns team write:
The shift in viewpoint could not have happened without the collective voice and power of communities asking for action on climate change. Thank you for all your hard work promoting the campaign.
The Clean Growth Strategy is not perfect, and the UK is still not on track to meet its legally binding carbon targets. For example, the government announced last month that it will end the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and this was re-confirmed in the strategy. Why not by 2030? You could take this up with your MP.
Moreover, recent scientific reports have shown that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached record levels in 2016, and the UN has said that current pledges are insufficient to keep temperature rises below 2oC, the target marked out in the Paris Agreement. Further climate talks are taking place in Bonn between 6th and 17th November, and new commitments will be needed from all countries – the US and Syria are the only countries not signed up to the Paris Agreement.
In 2018 the NFWI will take part once again in the Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign, and the Campaigns Team is hoping to make an even bigger impact. Write to Sophie Page on firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a campaigns pack.
The Climate Coalition is asking us to submit nominations for their Green Heart Hero Awards in various categories such as ‘Greenest School or Youth Project’ or ‘Best Green Community Project’. You can check out the categories and find out how to make your nomination, by clicking here.
~ Pippa Stilwell
Climate Ambassador, Cornwall Federation of WIs