A guest piece from Claire Stocks, Manchester Extinction Rebellion. This is a commentary on the Greater Manchester Environment Plan 2019–2024 (see also Peter Somerville’s critique that we published before the recent Green Summit and the call from GM-CAN to do more faster). Claire explains her piece like this:
What would it sound like if leaders in Greater Manchester declared a climate emergency? If they spoke with the tone and urgency this crisis calls for; the honesty citizens need to understand the facts; and the mass appeal for help required – for instance from the media sector in this region? This is my take – part of an in-depth critique of the GM Environment Plan, which despite its good intent sadly fails us all. For instance, it sets out a pledge to for GM to be zero-carbon by 2038 but openly admits double permitted emissions will have been pumped out by then. It ignores aviation – making no attempt to halt a huge expansion of passenger capacity at Manchester Airport. Even so, it contains startling & sweeping changes – e.g. in housing (a mass retrofit programme in every house in the region including getting rid of gas boilers ), transport (a mass shift to electric cars) and energy (solar panels for all). Many of these changes require huge government subsidies if citizens aren’t to foot the bill. And yet there seems no plan or budget to inform & engage people – or facilitate us finding solutions together and ways to go further, faster.