Climate group pushing Liverpool’s net zero carbon promise

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Friends of the Earth Liverpool have committed to ensuring the city reaches its promised net zero carbon target.

Fuelling the Fire campaign / Credit FoE

FoE urges everyone to act now as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached record levels last year, hitting 417 parts per million in May.

By prompting politicians, business leaders and individuals to pursue a cleaner environment, they hope to see a world that supports life and sustains human societies in a just way. The group have now set their sights on their latest challenge.

FoE spokesperson Frank Kennedy said: “Currently our efforts are largely focused on the city region to ensure that its climate emergency measures and targets for achieving Net Zero carbon are met as well as meeting the social and planetary needs identified by climate scientists such as the Tyndall Centre at Manchester University.

“Aspects of this include adoption of appropriate renewable energy, reduction in car and air travel and promotional of lower-impact lifestyles, including safe walking and cycling routes, and paying attention to flood risk on the Mersey shorelines.”

In 2019, in recognition of the pressing threat of climate change and the urgent need to take action, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority declared a climate emergency. As a result, Liverpool became the first city in the country to adopt a zero carbon target of 2040 – 10 years earlier than the nation’s target – and launched a £10m Green Investment Fund. FoE have been continuing to ensure that the promises made are being kept.

FoE is made up of 75 national groups worldwide, and Liverpool’s branch has been instrumental in multiple campaigns. Since forming in the early ’70s, some of their work includes returning thousands of empty bottles to the HQ of Cadbury Schweppes in London, opposing the loss of iconic buildings around the city and assisting in water quality in the River Mersey.

 

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Most famously, they played a key role in passing the UK’s Climate Change Act in 2009.

Mr. Kennedy said: “Friends of the Earth local groups played a crucial role in getting the UK’s Climate Change Act in 2009, the first in the world to commit a national government legally to cutting carbon emissions.

Save Rimrose Valley march / Credit FoE

“All MPs representing Merseyside constituencies were lobbied on this, and the great majority put their names to it. Combatting climate change in various ways has been at the forefront of our agenda ever since.”

Since going virtual during lockdown, the group has seen an increase in support. It has allowed them to gather larger groups together and involve speakers from other regions or countries.

Besides campaigning for reducing the use of pesticides against Bees and opposing the Rimrose Valley road to ease port of Liverpool traffic, the group’s next focus is the upcoming ‘COP 26’ climate conference in Glasgow in November.

The group has regular meetings on the third Wednesday of every month. Check out their Facebook for more details on how to join.

About Paul McAuley, JMU Journalism