04 Aug 2021
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Another win on roads
First off, time to celebrate another win on roads. Last month the Welsh government announced a freeze to all new road-building projects. This is the kind of policy we need to seriously tackle the climate crisis, and it wouldn’t have been possible without decades of campaigning and organising against road building by Welsh local groups like Swansea Friends of the Earth.
Alongside other community groups they played their part in stopping the M4 relief road being built and set the tone for the Welsh government announcement. Elsewhere in Richmond and Norwich groups continue to actively campaign on roads and push against policies that are a disaster for the climate.
Whether pushing the West of England Combined Authority, or the Mayor of London’s Environment Lead, regional coalitions of groups around the country continue to build their strength and apply pressure to decision-makers.
A coalition of North Yorkshire groups recently did just this by sending a joint letter to all of their MPs (including Chancellor Rishi Sunak), asking them to accelerate their efforts on climate.
It drew from the recent Climate Change Committee report, stating the government isn't doing enough to tackle the crisis. You can read their letter here.
Leicester Friends of the Earth have been doing some amazing outreach lately. Besides building exciting links with The Race Equality Centre, they’ve successfully applied to our local group fund to support them in creating a community green space.
The green space will be right by a community centre in a deprived area of the city, allowing the group to reach out to a section of their community that’s underrepresented in their membership.
Amongst other things the community centre provides support for refugees and has a café which the group hope to supply with herbs and fruit through their garden project. Wonderful, important work from Leicester Friends of the Earth.
A shout out to Sheffield Friends of the Earth who, as part of a community coalition, got their council to declare a nature emergency and commit to drafting a plan to respond to it. Their previous motion brought to the council in February was unsuccessful, but they kept at it to get this win.
And lastly, Portsmouth Friends of the Earth are undertaking another exciting, but this time more ambitious green space project. About two years ago they consulted with their community to plant on the busy North Road and now they’re working with a local school and other organisations to green an area of concrete. Definitely one to watch!