15 Sep 2020
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What If event
The last two months has seen some amazing activity from groups still finding ways to campaign during COVID-19. Four of those groups came together to organise and host a two-day online event to imagine what an environmentally just transition would look like for their communities.
"What If" was put together by a coalition of Manchester Friends of the Earth, Chester & District Friends of the Earth, Climate Action Preston, and Stockport Climate Action, and delivered13 sessions.
The event was really well attended and covered topics like What if we had a Green and Fair Recovery in the UK?, What if volunteering in green/eco projects became a weekly norm?, What if we created food fairness for all?, and What if local democracy empowered everyone?
Find recordings of the sessions on the North West network website and keep your eyes peeled for the follow-up event in October as it's open to anyone to attend.
What if volunteering in green/eco projects became a weekly norm?
Lobbying for a green and fair recovery
This autumn the UK government will be setting the national budget for the next 4 years. So it's a crucial time to press our MPs to make sure the economic response to COVID-19 is a green and fair one – and lots of our groups have been doing just that. Here's a quick look at just some of this vital work.
St Albans Friends of the Earth had their local MP suggest an hour and a half follow-up meeting after their initial meeting. 40 members of Stratford-On-Avon Friends of the Earth held an online meeting with a government cabinet member. He agreed to a follow-up meeting and took away 25 of their questions to answer. Sheffield Friends of the Earth also got a commitment from their MP to ask questions in parliament about the overseas funding of fossil fuels.
Our Climate Action groups have also been lobbying hard and are gearing up for our Week of Action at the start of October, alongside local groups. Find out more about how you can be part of this.
Goodbye to coal?
Over the last two months applications to expand or begin coal mining have been rejected in both the Pont Valley and Druridge Bay. This is a significant moment for the fight against coal in the UK and could even signal its demise. This would not have been possible without the tireless work of community groups on the ground fighting back against the plans time and again.
This is how we'll win the climate fight
Our local groups played their part in this. North Tyneside Friends of the Earth has protested with groups fighting the Pont Valley expansion, while Alnwick Area Friends of the Earth played a huge part in fighting the Druridge Bay proposal.
A huge congratulations to these groups and all others who have made this happen. This is how we'll win the climate fight.
A final shout out to Newbury Friends of the Earth who have potentially convinced Tesco to roll out paper bags across the UK. It's still unclear what the Tesco policy on replacing plastic bags with paper is, but the group ran a great campaign which got TV coverage from Meridian.
After this they were invited to meet a Tesco director and have since seen paper bags appear in their local store. A tweet from Tesco has indicated they'll be doing this on a much greater scale so it's certainly one to watch.