Our own intrepid Phil Kingston attended the Climate Coalition launch on Monday, and here is his report…
Meeting of The Climate Coalition (formerly Stop Climate Chaos) on Monday 7th April in London
I attended this meeting on behalf of CEL. I enjoyed the friendly, well-organised and cooperative process and particularly appreciated the large number of younger people who were there. The main matters I want to pass on to CEL members are these:
1. The CCs logo is heart-shaped, which reflects the idea that climate change is affecting so much that each of us love. And The CC has as its theme an unfinished sentence which reads ‘For the love of …….. let’s tackle climate change’. We did a few exercises putting in the missing word or phrase and I included one for CEL which Jo had suggested, namely ‘the whole Earth’ – and if the photo comes out and I can include it with this, you will see how it was done. Also, we all took part in a brief video of the different organisations present forming into a heart and speaking the mantra with each of us putting in our chosen word or phrase at the appropriate moment. A good attempt to make harmony out of chaos? The video will give the answer.
2. Dom Goggins of CAFOD and Ruth Davis of Greenpeace gave a political update. A main point was the great importance of civil society developing its voice because it seems clear that politicians generally are following rather than leading with regard to ambition on climate change. I was interested and surprised to hear Ruth comment that although we may well regard the Coalition Govt as being low on ambition, it nonetheless plays a foremost role in Europe with regard to developments there.
She referred to an EU meeting in June regarding Energy Policy where it is essential that we let the Govt know the importance of pursuing energy efficiency (and presumably renewables). She also spoke about the UN meeting regarding the new framework for the Millennium Development Goals. Apparently David Cameron is keen on this being a meaningful meeting and it is therefore essential to convey to him that without a strong emphasis on climate change concerns, these social and health goals will be undermined.
3. A number of events during the next year are becoming markers for activity by the Coalition. They are:
a) A June/July Parliamentary event when MPs will be asked for their responses to the ‘For the love of …’ question
b) September: The UN meeting of Leaders which has been called recently by Ban Ky moon. This has major significance because it precedes the December COP preparatory meeting for the 2015 Paris COP and will thus be a time when leaders will either show ambition – or won’t. (This September meeting had only just been announced. The Coalition has asked Oxfam to coordinate a response which includes encouraging media stunts, social media campaigning, involvement with politicians, and mobilising high-profile names to support the campaign.)
c) February 2015, a Valentine card to MPs about the things they love, picked up from their responses in a) above.
d) April 2015, election hustings
e) June 2015, a mobilisation of communities to let the new Government know how important we regard ambition on Climate Change and how essential is the Paris COP meeting for a massive turnaround of what is being done to the Earth.
4. A Question and Answer session. For your information, I asked one related to the relative importance which each organisation is giving to the reduction of CO2 emissions on the one hand and the abatement of the effects of climate change on the other. (There are some important paragraphs in the 2014 IPCC Summary Report for Policymakers (page 25) which make clear that without major emphasis on the former, attempts to cope with the effects of climate change are likely to be overtaken by the intensity and frequency of those effects.) It seems that politically and socially the abatement option is the more attractive, so we are on a hard road. Judged by this meeting and the Joy in Enough one, we have many lovely companions.
Phil Kingston 9th April 2014
All the photos are on our flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theclimatecoalition/
And the video is here on Youtube: http://youtu.be/sQ3icLuEUTA
The campaign website is now live too! http://www.fortheloveof.org.uk