ENVIRONMENT: Let’s start the conversation

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Alnwick Town Council resolved last December to aim to become carbon neutral by 2031, the time-frame of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Councillors recognised the urgency of the need for immediate and definitive action in the wake of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change.

The report found that to maintain a global temperature at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, climate emissions must be halved by 2030 and reduced to near zero by 2050.

Our current emissions ambition would still take us to temperature rises that will cause severe climate chaos.

In the UK, we led the world into the Industrial Revolution, with all the associated benefits, but we largely powered it with fossil fuel. This is our Achilles’ heel and we must transition our society to new ways of living.

The good news is that these technologies and ways of working exist, they need only be rolled out at scale.

We need 100 per cent renewable energy, super-insulated homes and the circular approach to resources, where the waste from one process becomes the raw material for the next, mimicking nature where there is no ‘waste’.

We need to think in a much more holistic way about transport and travel, work and play, health and wellbeing, the built environment, land use and food production, etc.

Decarbonising the operations of the town council is only a start, we need to decarbonise our town too.

I will be at the town council stand at the Alnwick Forum event in Northumberland Hall on Saturday, from 10am to 3pm, and I am keen to hear your views on how the town council can encourage and enable the wider community to make these rapid changes.

This is an opportunity to revolutionise society to be healthier, happier, safer and more resilient to the challenges we face. Our children and grandchildren are relying on us to get this right. They will inherit the natural world we leave for them.

Let us start the conversation.

Coun Martin Swinbank,

Alnwick Town Council