18 Feb 2021
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Local to global
Liverpool Friends of the Earth have been doing some wonderful stuff recently. After opening up their meetings and offering regular slots for other groups to speak at they’ve formed an alliance with Biofuel Watch. Together they’re now pushing against the expansion of the Port of Liverpool. The expansion would naturally see an increase in traffic and have dire knock-on effects on air quality in the area.
focussing on both the local and international issues at play
The port also currently sees woodchip pellets imported for the Drax power plant - pellets that come from felled North American forests - as well as soya beans grown on deforested land in Brazil. As a result Liverpool Friends of the Earth and their allies are focussing on both the local and international issues at play as they raise their objection to this trade with MPs. One MP is already interested in supporting them which is a good sign. Hopefully others won’t be far behind.
Not here not anywhere
Many of you will have seen Cumbria County Council’s decision to reconsider the Whitehaven coal mine this week. Sometimes change happens suddenly – only a few weeks ago this didn’t seem likely.
The charge is being led by South Lakes Action on Climate Change as well as a wider coalition of local and national allies. Our groups in the area, West Cumbria Friends of the Earth and Climate Emergency West Cumbria, are part of this coalition and playing a vital role by raising awareness, supporting on actions, lobbying, and raising planning issues.
how effective our network can be when we ally with other community groups
They’ve shown how effective our network can be when we ally with other community groups and campaigns. If you haven’t read it yet here’s a quick look at how they’ve gone about it. There's still work to be done and we haven’t won yet but it’s good to know groups like those in Cumbria are on the case.
Gearing up for election season
Whether it’s for Senedd, Metro Mayoral, or local elections our groups have been preparing to make sure climate is front and centre of the agenda. This May will see the largest elections in UK history (outside of general elections) take place. This is a crucial opportunity for us to get firm climate commitments from candidates so we’re better positioned to push for the change we need.
At regional and national level across the UK, groups have been coordinating and planning for weeks, with meetings locked in with several key candidates already. Find out how to get involved.
A quick shout out to Newbury Friends of the Earth for the relationship they’ve been building with their council lately. They were recently commended in West Berkshire Council’s Community Group of the Year awards for planting their Lockdown Wood last year. And are now working collaboratively with the council on some ambitious solar plans for their area. This comes after the group had expressed dissatisfaction with the council's work to date. It's nice to now see the council and Friends of the Earth group pulling in the same direction.
And lastly, check out Alex Davies-Jones MP celebrating the work of Pontypridd local group in a Commons debate a few weeks ago. Well done Pontypridd Friends of the Earth!