Plenary carried motion to declare Climate Emergency
Waking up early Thursday morning with the plan to attend the Plenary session at City Hall London, I wasn’t prepared for this EPIC result! I was actually hitting the snooze button a couple of times before convincing myself that ‘it’d be a new experience I’ll benefit from’. Funny how similar my behaviour is to what we’ve done in terms of awakening to the fact that we are living in times of a Climate Crisis. We hit the snooze button, dare I say, for years! Similarly, we’re now at a stage that we realize we may benefit from today’s decision. Let’s hope we’re not too late!
In the last three months the inconvenient evidence of an impending Climate Disaster is amassing. The release of the on Global Warming of 1.5 °C Special Report (SR15) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emission Gap Report (EGR18) in November 2018, and the Conference of the Parties (COP24) happening right now. All essential stepping stones to today’s success, in my opinion. Scientific research results are overwhelming by now. And each report contains warnings that we’re way off staying under the 1.5 °C if we continue with the business as usual scenario. Clear warnings! Justified after years of half-hearted actions, or no actions in some parts of the worlds.
Obviously I came to the Plenary session particularly interested in one agenda item: Motions.
The motion of interest was the one that that was proposed by the Green Party based on the latest IPCC SR15. Declaring and committing to tackling a “Climate Emergency” – WOW. Bold and brave motion. One I’ve been wanting for a decade working on GHG mitigations projects with the United Nations and verifying GHG emissions for the European Union Emissions Trading System.
It wasn’t the only topic of the agenda that day as you can imagine. Despite my focus on one agenda item, I found it very telling that the Commisionor of the London Fire Brigade had quite some interesting contributions which linked to issues arising from Climate Change. Water resilience, droughts, heat islands in London City, and increasing risk of grass fires.
Do you know what that feels like? When all of a sudden people start talking about issues you’ve seen crystal clear for years? When a motion is put in front of the Assmbly members of one the most popular metropolis in the world, and it happens to be one you’ve been working years towards to but never thought “they” would see it with the same eyes?
I know it may sound bizzarre to most of you to celebrate the declaration of an emergency. But all of a sudden I became very excited! I began to realise that this could be the EPIC moment I’ve been waiting for, the landmark decision to finally awaken the masses from their trance. Climate Change is not that thing that happens whilst you carry on living your life as normal. It’s the single biggest modern threat to human kind on the planet. Seeing it finally tabled (British English) is HUGE! It’s significant and encouraging.
Yes, it’s bad – but it’s great as well, now that the Major or London is officially called upon by the London Assembly to put Emergency Plans in place. Leading by example! I am deeply grateful I’ve been sitting in this very session where 12 members of the assembly voted to carry the motion.
For me, Climate history was written – there and then.
Huge shout-out to Caroline Russel and Siân Berry from the Green Party who made this happen!!