Imagine a world where our hedgerows, trees, and plants wither and die, where there is no birdsong, and where instead the air is thick with choking, noxious fumes. Sadly, this may soon be our reality – but we can still make a change if we take action now.
In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a powerful report that shows the shocking truth about the effects of climate change. The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C. After that, a rise of even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
On Thursday 25 April at a Full Council meeting, the council agreed to declare a climate emergency. This commits Waltham Forest to launching a new Climate Change Strategy, establishing a Climate Change Commission to help shape the local response to this global challenge, and calling on the UK Government to provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier.
Last week also saw over 300 parents, children, and school students march on Waltham Forest Town Hall to call for urgent action to tackle the effects of man-made global warming. This followed thousands of Extinction Rebellion protesters, including many from Waltham Forest, demonstrating in central London.
The Waltham Forest protestors delivered their petition to Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, on the lawn of the Town Hall on Tuesday 23 April.
Cllr Loakes said: “We know how much our residents care about the environment and I’m proud to see so many stand up for their beliefs. Their hand-made signs and placards, many created by local children, show us some of the species at risk that may disappear very soon – unless we act now.
“We owe it to future generations to change the way we live today, before it is too late.”