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Eastbourne campaigners are calling on the council to act now to prepare for rising sea levels and
Friends of the Earth (FoE) is urging the borough council to table a Climate Emergency Motion which would aim for Eastbourne to become carbon neutral by
Eastbourne at the limit for unsafe air
pollution levels, says
This would require Eastbourne Borough Council to come up with a plan within six months to help reduce levels of
Andrew Durling, coordinator of Eastbourne FoE, said, “Eastbourne is clearly at risk from
flooding from the sea, a risk that will only increase as the climate changes ever more rapidly, bringing significant sea level rises and stronger, more frequent storm surges.
“I know it’s very uncomfortable to think about such risks now, but we have to get our insurance policies in place now for managing those risks, before it’s too late.
“We take precautions in our own home to minimise the risk of
fire, such as installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers/blankets. Similarly we must take steps now to think through what can be done to avoid catastrophic damage to local homes, businesses and infrastructure.”
He added, “After all, Eastbourne, as a coastal community, is literally on the front line of climate change, so if we can’t demonstrate how to deal with climate risks effectively ourselves, how can we expect other areas to do what is necessary to reduce our own vulnerability to sea level rise?”
This comes after leading climate scientists said urgent action needs to be taken to stop
global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees and creating a ‘climate catastrophe’.
And earlier this month world famous environmentalist Sir David Attenborough called climate change ‘our greatest threat’ at a
United Nations talk.
GILL MATTOCK - Longstanding Liberal Democrat councillor Gill Mattock
is the Mayor of Eastbourne. Gill
is also the deputy leader of Eastbourne council and the lead for financial
services. How the Council might like to think about making
their Borough Climate Change friendly is already enshrined in
statute with the Climate Change
Act 2008 that is working its way through the system with the General Permitted Development Order of
2015 being one example.
What is not mentioned in this legislation is how to achieve
the transition from coal
to electric cars and zero
carbon housing. Councillor Mattock is keen on making the town
plastic free. She will be at the Refill
ceremony at the Enterprise Centre
to open the event on the 26th of January 2019.
3 2018 - The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity's greatest threat in thousands of years.
The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the
extinction of "much of the natural world".
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United
Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice,
The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris
Sir David said: "Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years.
"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."
The naturalist is taking up the "People's Seat" at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.
"The world's people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running
out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now," he said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries.
He explained that the world is "nowhere near where it needs to be" on the transition to a low-carbon economy.
But the UN Secretary-General said the conference was an effort to "right the ship" and he would convene a climate summit next year to discuss next steps.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.
OF THE EARTH
As an organisation that lobbied for the 1.5 climate change threshold at the Paris climate talks and was instrumental in getting the precedent-setting Climate Change Act into UK law, Friends of the Earth is concerned that the UK government is not yet taking the ambitious or far-reaching action to reduce UK carbon in line with what is required to meet these targets. Friends of the Earth believes that we can achieve this level of emissions reduction given political will as long as we make the right decisions now to put the UK on the road to ‘net zero’. This paper plots the pathway to net zero, and summarises key policy recommendations.
The UK currently has a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050, based on 1990 emission levels. This was agreed overwhelmingly by politicians of all political parties ten years ago as they passed the Climate Change Act, following a four year campaign by Friends of the Earth and many others.
The Act led to the formation of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) one of whose jobs was to advise on the pathway to the 2050 target by setting 5 year ‘carbon budgets’. The Committee has identified budgets in line with a roughly 50% chance of avoiding two degrees of global warming. It also worked on the basis of average UK per capita emissions being the same as the global average by 2050. This approach is one of the equity approaches identified by the International Panel on Climate Change, but it is also recognised as one of the weakest as it doesn’t take into consideration historical emissions and capability (the UK being one of the wealthiest countries in the world). The choice of which approach to equity to use in setting carbon budgets has a very significant impact on the size of UK carbon budgets.
Since the passing of the Climate Change Act national governments have come together globally under the auspices of the UNFCCC to agree the Paris Agreement. This sets the ambition of “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (emphasis added)”. This means that the current UK carbon budgets need to be tightened to be in line with this higher level of ambition. The greater ambition at Paris was inspired by the realisation of human suffering caused already by only one degree of global warming and the likely impacts of future warming. It was also the realisation that a range of tipping points (e.g. irreversible loss of coral reefs) occur at relatively low levels of warming and that the previous adoption of two degrees as the threshold to ‘dangerous climate change’ was too high.
To contribute a fair share of emissions cuts to deliver on the Paris Agreement, the UK must tighten its carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ before 2050. The earlier the date before 2050 the more equitable the outcome. Friends of the Earth is of the view that net zero 2045 is possible and necessary.
It's the final call, say scientists, in the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.
Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3C.
Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".
It will be hugely expensive - but the window of opportunity remains open.
After three years of research and a week of haggling between scientists and government officials at a meeting in South Korea, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C.
* What could be wiped out by temperature rise
* What is climate change?
The critical 33-page Summary for Policymakers certainly bears the hallmarks of difficult negotiations between climate researchers determined to stick to what their studies have shown and political representatives more concerned with economies and living standards.
Despite the inevitable compromises, there are some key messages that come through loud and clear.
"The first is that limiting warming to 1.5C brings a lot of benefits compared with limiting it to two degrees. It really reduces the impacts of climate change in very important ways," said Prof Jim Skea, who co-chairs the IPCC.
"The second is the unprecedented nature of the changes that are required if we are to limit warming to 1.5C - changes to energy systems, changes to the way we manage land, changes to the way we move around with transportation."
"Scientists might want to write in capital letters, 'ACT NOW, IDIOTS,' but they need to say that with facts and numbers," said Kaisa Kosonen, of Greenpeace, who was an observer at the negotiations. "And they have."
The researchers have used these facts and numbers to paint a picture of the world with a dangerous fever, caused by humans. We used to think if we could keep warming below two degrees this century, then the changes we would experience would be manageable.
Not any more. This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet's liveability. And the 1.5C temperature "guard rail" could be exceeded in just 12 years, in 2030.
We can stay below it - but it will require urgent, large-scale changes from governments and individuals and we will have to invest a massive pile of cash every year, about 2.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced, for two decades.
Even then, we will still need machines, trees and plants to capture carbon from the air that we can then store deep underground - forever.
WHAT CAN I DO
The report says there must be rapid and significant changes in four big global systems:
energy • land use • cities • industry
But it adds that the world cannot meet its target without changes by individuals, urging people to:
• buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter and more locally sourced seasonal food - and throw less of it away
• drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances
• take trains and buses instead of planes
• use videoconferencing instead of business travel
• use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer
• insulate homes
• demand low carbon in every consumer product
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference, said Dr Debra Roberts, the IPCC's other co-chair.
"That's a very empowering message for the individual," she said. "This is not about remote science; it is about where we live and work, and it gives us a cue on how we might be able to contribute to that massive change, because everyone is going to have to be involved."
"You might say you don't have control over land use, but you do have control over what you eat and that determines land use.
"We can choose the way we move in cities and if we don't have access to public transport - make sure you are electing politicians who provide options around public transport."
Five steps to 1.5
Global emissions of CO2 need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030
2. Renewables are estimated to provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050
3. Coal is expected to reduce to close to zero
4. Up to seven million sq km of land will be needed for energy crops (a bit less than the size of
5. Global net zero emissions by 2050
How much will all this cost?
It won't come cheap. The report says to limit warming to 1.5C, will involve "annual average investment needs in the energy system of around $2.4 trillion" between 2016 and 2035.
Experts believe this number needs to be put in context.
"There are costs and benefits you have to weigh up," said Dr Stephen Cornelius, a former UK IPCC negotiator now with
WWF. He says making big emissions cuts in the short term will cost money but be cheaper than paying for carbon dioxide removal later this century.
"The report also talks about the benefits as there is higher economic growth at 1.5 degrees than there is at 2C and you don't have the higher risk of catastrophic impacts at 1.5 that you do at two."
* Five things we have learned from the report
* Fast fashion is harming the planet, MPs say
* Vietnam's children and the fear of climate change
What happens if we don't act?
The researchers say that if we fail to keep temperature rises below 1.5C, we are in for some significant and dangerous changes to our world.
You can kiss coral reefs goodbye, as the report says they would be essentially 100% wiped out at two degrees of warming.
Global sea-level will rise about 10cm (4in) more if we let warming go to 2C. That may not sound like much but keeping to 1.5C means that
10 million fewer people would be exposed to the risks of flooding.
There are also significant impacts on ocean temperatures and acidity, and the ability to grow crops such as rice, maize and wheat.
"We are already in the danger zone at one degree of warming," said Kaisa Kosonen, from Greenpeace. "Both poles are melting at an accelerated rate; ancient trees that have been there for hundreds of years are suddenly dying; and the summer we've just experienced - basically, the whole world was on fire."
Is this plan at all feasible?
- Analysis by David Shukman, BBC science editor
The countdown to the worst of global warming seems to have accelerated. Seriously damaging impacts are no longer on a distant horizon later this century but within a timeframe that appears uncomfortably close.
By the same token, the report's "pathways" for keeping a lid on temperatures all mean that hard decisions cannot be delayed:
* a shift away from fossil fuels by mid-century
* coal phased out far sooner than previously suggested
* vast tracts of land given over to forests
It's mind-bending stuff and some will say it's hopelessly unrealistic, a climate scientists' fantasy. So is any of it plausible? On the one hand, the global economy relies on carbon and key activities depend on it. On the other, wind turbines and solar panels have tumbled in price and more and more countries and states such as California are setting ambitious green targets.
Ultimately, politicians will face a difficult choice: persuade their voters that the revolutionary change outlined in the report is urgently needed or ignore it and say the scientists have got it wrong.
Is all this about saving small island states?
The idea of keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5 is something very close to the hearts and minds of small island and low-lying states, which fear being inundated with flooding if temperatures go to two degrees.
But over the three years that the report was in preparation, more and more scientific evidence has been published showing the benefits of staying close to 1.5C are not just for island nations in the
"If you save a small island country, then you save the world," said Dr Amjad Abdulla, an IPCC author, from the Maldives. "Because the report clearly states that no-one is going to be immune. It's about morality - it's about humanity."
How long have we got?
Not long at all. But that issue is now in the hands of political leaders. The report says hard decisions can no longer be kicked down the road. If the nations of the world don't act soon, they will have to rely even more on unproven technologies to take carbon out of the air - an expensive and uncertain road.
"They really need to start work immediately. The report is clear that if governments just fulfil the pledges they made in the
Paris agreement for 2030, it is not good enough. It will make it very difficult to consider global warming of 1.5C," said Prof Jim Skea.
"If they read the report and decide to increase their ambitions and act more immediately, then 1.5C stays within reach - that's the nature of the choice they face."
Campaigners and environmentalists, who have welcomed the report, say there is simply no time left for debate.
"This is the moment where we need to decide" said Kaisa Kosonen. "We want to move to clean energy, sustainable lifestyles. We want to protect our forests and species. This is the moment that we will remember; this is the year when the turning point happened."
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