Councils across the South East of England are being urged to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’, after a ground-breaking meeting in Horsham on Saturday 2nd February. Held to mark World S.O.S. Climate Emergency Day, the meeting brought together for the first time environmental groups from 11 towns from Surrey, and East and West Sussex. Over 126 people aged from 10 to 80 were present. The venue had to be changed three times to accommodate the surge of interest, and took place finally in Horsham’s Unitarian Church.
The two-hour meeting was organised by Carrie Cort the founder of Sussex Green Living and Nicola Peel an environmental speaker and solutionist. It enabled the groups to learn what climate action is taking place across the region, share ideas and discuss how they could collaborate to increase climate action. Speakers included Nicola who gave a keynote speech on the need for urgent action, three 10 year old Horsham children who gave excellent speeches on behalf of children and young people. Followed by brief presentations by representatives from Sussex Green Living, Transition groups, Steyning 10:10, Worthing Climate Action Network, volunteers from many Repair Cafes, newly formed Extinction Rebellion and Climate Emergency Groups. Also in attendance were five Climate Reality Leaders, people trained by Al Gore the former US Vice President and leading climate change scientists.
Geoff Barnard from Steyning 10:10, one of the speakers, said “All around the UK, towns and councils are waking up to the need to accelerate climate action, and are acknowledging this publicly by declaring a climate emergency. We want our local councils in the South East to follow suit”. Towns and cities that have declared a climate emergency include London, Frome, Machynlleth, Brighton and Hove, Forest of Dean, Scarborough, Oxford, Trafford, Nottingham, Totnes, Stroud, Lancaster, Cornwall, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield, and more are joining the list every week.
Carrie Cort said “Scientists around the world are ringing alarm bells and it is falling on deaf ears. We are told we are the last generation which can do something about it. We have 11 years to reduce carbon emissions; if we don’t the World will experience runaway and irreversible climate change”. She closed by saying “My son will be only 22 in 11 years. So I will fight for climate justice, for him and future generations around the world”.
The unanimous decision of the group was to unite and work together to demand our own towns and county council declare climate emergency and accelerate their climate action. To enable a co-ordinated approach and greater collaboration the South East Climate Coalition was formed. Initially working with environmental groups and residents in Surrey, East and West Sussex the aim is to invite groups from Kent and Hampshire to join forces in future.
Nicola closed by saying “We have now united over 126 climate communicators and campaigners, we are not only going to ride this tide of change but we have a tsunami on our hands”.
About South East Climate Alliance (SECA)
From this came South East Climate Alliance (SECA), a coalition of ‘green’ groups in the South East of England.
The press release can be read here.
What is SECA?
We are non party political and inclusive. Groups in SECA will remain independent, and SECA will offer centralised resources and support, share ideas and help coordinate action. While encouraging groups to refrain from violent activities and stay within the law we are an informal alliance and are not responsible for the actions of individual groups.
Our first action will be to support affiliated green groups in the drive for local councils to Declare a Climate Emergency.
Two ways to do this:
- Approach current local councils to encourage them to Declare a Climate Emergency
- Use local election campaigns to focus on the issue and get candidates to commit to support a Declaration of Climate Emergency
According to Climate Emergency UK 20 councils have either declared Climate Emergency or plan to. We’ve already got loads of take-up with groups like Transition Towns and Extinction Rebellion and all sorts of others.
We’re hoping to soon launch our own SECA website, watch this space!
To be added to our mailing list and be kept informed about future meetings and action please email southeastclimatealliance@
Join the South East Climate Alliance Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthEastClimateAlliance/
About Sussex Green Living (SGL)
Founded in 2012, SGL is a not-for-profit unincorporated community initiative – a green network and educational hub with the aim of inspiring people to live greener, more sustainable lives.
The founder Carrie Cort trained as a voluntary WSCC Waste Prevention Advisor in March 2012 and is the co-founder of the Horsham Repair Cafe with Jill Shuker another Waste Prevention Advisor, along with about many volunteers. Gradually this Sussex network has grown and now has about 70 people actively supporting their environmental work.
In March 2016 Carrie trained in Manila, Philippines with former Vice President Al Gore, leading Climate Change scientists and communicators as part of the Climate Reality Leadership Corp. She is now one of 15,000 activists otherwise known as Climate Reality Leaders, of which there are about 150 in the UK and 5 in West Sussex. This is a global network committed climate activists who are spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working for solutions to the greatest challenge of our time.
Nicola Peel environmental speaker and solutionist http://www.nicolapeel.com/.
Other groups involved in the S.O.S. Climate Emergency Day meeting were:
- Sussex Green Living and Horsham Repair Cafe – Carrie Cort
- Climate Reality Leadership Corp – Jenny Edwards
- Transition Horsham – Alison Marshall
- Kinder Living Home Show & Refill Horsham District – Jeanette Mercer
- Transition Town Worthing & Worthing Repair Cafe – Pauline Cory
- Worthing Climate Action Network – Rod Thick
- Transition HKD (Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint, Keymer and Ditchling) – Alistair Whitby
- Transition Chichester & Chichester Repair Cafe – Tom Broughton
- Chichester Climate Emergency – Sarah Sharp
- Cuckmere Valley Transition & Extinction Rebellion Lewes – Dinah Pryor
- Steyning 10:10 – Geoff Barnard
- Dorking Repair Café, Extinction Rebellion Dorking & Dorking Climate Emergency Week – Pat Smith & Rob Basto
Climate Emergency towns and cities
About the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.
More information about the I.P.C.C. Report can be seen here: www.ipcc.ch
A summary of the report here: http://www.hftf.org.uk/blog/2018/10/22