Leap into Climate Action!

Saturday 29 February 2020, Huddersfield

Voluntary group Kirklees Climate Emergency Group is organising a free climate-focused event on ‘leap day’ Saturday 29 February 2020 at Huddersfield Mission, running from 1-5pm.  Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, and Sir John Harman, former Leader, will be speaking at the event. Professor Andy Gouldson, Co-Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission, will be Guest Speaker at the event, and will be sharing lessons from Leeds as a possible roadmap for Kirklees’ own Climate Commission.

The event aims to build on the work that is already underway as part of Kirklees Council’s Climate Emergency Motion and bring community groups, businesses and the council together to kick-start immediate and effective climate action in Kirklees. The event will share with the wider community what action the Council is already planning and flag up what local groups and businesses are already doing to tackle the climate emergency as well as looking forward at how a Climate Commission for Kirklees could be a key tool in taking climate action in Kirklees.

One of the purposes of the event is networking and providing a space for people to find out how they can get involved in taking action locally, so there will be series of short presentations from a wide range of local groups and businesses about what they are doing to tackle the climate emergency and how to get involved.

Groups and businesses that will be speaking include:

– Culture Declares
– Extinction Rebellion
– Fossil Free West Yorkshire – calling fora fossil free West Yorkshire Pension Fund
– Holmfirth Parish Council Climate Emergency group
– Huddersfield New College Eco Group
– Huddersfield Youth Strike4Climate
– Kirklees Cycling Campaign
– Moors for the Future
– Local public transport campaigners
– Save Kirklees Trees
– STOP LEEDS Bradford Airport expansion
– Local businesses

Book a FREE ticket here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leap-into-climate-action-tickets-95006746737

Trees emergency

Campaigners call on the Council to do more for Kirklees’ trees

Members of the Save Greenhead Trees and Kirklees Climate Emergency campaign groups organised a lobby and deputation to Kirklees Council today (Wednesday 18 September 2019) reinforcing the urgent need to protect and plant trees as part of the council’s response to the climate emergency.

One of the speakers, Evie aged 13, said:

“It’s my generation who will suffer the consequences if we don’t treasure our trees.  We’re here to try and protect the trees we’ve got and to challenge the council to help us plant more – lots more.  Trees matter.  They help fix the climate emergency by absorbing carbon. Scientists are telling us  that the land set aside for woodland and forestry needs to rise world-wide. Kirklees needs to do its bit and do it quickly.”

Sarah Newton, another deputation speaker, commented:

“Kirklees declared a Climate Emergency on 16 January 2019. Since the declaration Kirklees has cut down healthy mature street trees and at least 50 full grown trees at the Highfields site. And that’s just in a few months. We are also not aware of Kirklees plans for widespread tree planting this tree planting season. Kirklees Council is failing in a simple and core part of a strategy to deal with the Climate Emergency.”

The group outlined 5 core demands for a tree policy for Kirklees: :

1. A street tree policy: The Council has been talking about developing a street tree policy for over two years. Until there is an agreed policy involving the Council and all interested parties then all street tree felling in Kirklees should be suspended, with the exception being if any of the street trees pose an agreed danger.

2. A commitment to urban re-planting 

The  group is  calling for an audit of  all Council-owned sites exploring where can more trees be planted. All Kirklees schools must be encouraged to plant trees. 

3. Protect existing trees and promote more trees through the planning system

The Local Plan should be updated to reflect the importance of protecting existing trees and increasing tree cover in helping combat the climate emergency.

Planning decisions should reflect this: the wholesale felling of existing trees on development sites must not be allowed, and planting new trees should be a condition of planning permission (under section 106 agreements). 

4. A minimum commitment to planting one tree per person in Kirklees – 437 500 in the next five years, starting now

The Council is called upon  to match the commitment of Leeds and Manchester by planting one tree per person in Kirklees by 2024 and to look at more ambitious long-term plans, reflecting national calls for a doubling of tree cover.  

5. A new determination to see The Northern Forest happen

The campaigners called on the Council to turn the ambitions for the Northern Forest  into action and asked the council what the plans for planting at Northern Forest sites are this planting season. 

Sarah from Kirklees Climate Emergency group  commented:

“These are our demands. It is an emergency – you told us this, but we see trees felled not planted. 

Publish a tree policy, with targets and deadlines – we’ll help. Commit to the action needed to combat the climate emergency.”

Kirklees Climate Emergency – 6 months on

Today climate campaigners made a deputation to the Kirklees Council meeting, questioning the Council as to progress made on its Climate Emergency Motion in January 2019. The speakers were representatives of the newly-formed Kirklees Climate Emergency Group, a voluntary community group which aims “To support, promote and facilitate as appropriate the aims and objectives set out in the Motion”. They were joined outside the Town Hall by dozens of local people calling for ‘action not words’ on the climate emergency.

The speakers congratulated the Council for establishing a Working Party, which is currently working to develop a considered response and climate action plan for the Council.  However the deputation requested that the Council addressed other commitments it had made in the Climate Emergency Motion

Kirklees Climate Emergency Group deputation: Ali Stopher, Kiran Bali, Murray Holmes, Jan Walters.

Ali Stopher, joint Chair of the Kirklees Climate Emergency Group (KCEG)  said:

“We are here today to remind the Council of the first resolution of the Motion, which commits the Council:

“to declare a Climate Emergency and publicise this to the people of Kirklees to raise awareness, and support the public to take effective action

Six months on from that declaration, we have seen only minimal evidence of Council action in publicising the Climate Emergency, raising awareness or supporting the public to take effective action.”

Kiran Bali MBE JP was also one of the deputation and said: “We urge you as a Council to treat this as the emergency that the Motion recognizes it is.  Please speak out about the nature of the Climate emergency, and do it now”.

The campaigners also highlighted that the Council has not yet appeared to have acted on the 6th resolution of the Motion, which was to write to the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry about the climate emergency and asking for a release of funds to local authorities that would allow them to take the necessary measures at local level.

Murray Holmes aged 15, another of the speakers in the deputation, said:

As Sir David Attenborough has said, ‘Time is running out’.  My generation will inherit the world you leave behind.  Please treat this as the emergency it truly is and do everything you can.  And please do it now.”

Jan Walters from the Kirklees Climate Emergency Group added:

”We all need to work together on this, to do more and do it more quickly.  Kirklees Climate Emergency Group will support the Council in this in any way we can.”

For more information: https://kirkleesclimateemergency.com/

Turning the words into action

We’ve got two events planned for July 2019 to help us and the council gather momentum in tackling the climate crisis:

Saturday 6 July 2019

Climate Emergency People’s Assembly: What do we do next?

14:15-16:15 Slaithwaite Civic Hall, New St, HD7 5AB Huddersfield

Workshop exploring how the local community can get involved and support rapid decarbonisation within Kirklees led by Kirklees Climate Emergency group.
An introduction to participatory local democracy for climate decision-making and action explaining what Citizens’ Assemblies, Citizens’ Juries and People’s Assemblies are. This will be followed by a People’s Assembly participatory workshop for members of the local community led by Kirklees Climate Emergency Group to explore ways to help support Kirklees Council deliver its Climate Emergency Motion. Topics will range from Energy, Buildings, Transport, Re-wilding, Food & Diet & much more!
This event is included in the programme of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution Festival, a one-day festival of discussions, workshops and activities with key leaders in green thinking, local community groups and Thelma Walker MP. Festival HQ: The Civic Slaithwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5AB. Please not that the Kirklees Climate Emergency group is non party political and is seeking cross party support for the rapid decarbonisation of Kirklees.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Kirklees Climate Emergency – 6 months on

16.00 – 17.30 Huddersfield Town Hall, Ramsden Street, HD1 2TA Huddersfield

Join the Kirklees Climate Emergency Group and supporters questioning the Council as to progress made on the Climate Emergency Motion, passed in January 2019.
We will be gathering outside the Town Hall before the Council meeting as well as bring a deputation to the Council meeting itself.