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CL at the Green Summit – From the Marketplace

March 2018 by Emma Charlotte Richards

My role at the Green Summit was running our Carbon Literacy stall within the ‘marketplace’. We interacted with and engaged delegates on all things Carbon Literacy; catching their attention with ‘The Great Carbon Literacy Balloon Game’! We talked with businesses, the public, partners, and the eco-council of a primary school.

For me, the stand-out part of the day was Kevin Anderson’s speech right at the beginning. His comical, yet earnest approach really set the tone of the summit, with a palpable enthusiasm for change throughout the day. This, along with the confidence that green issues are now in the forefront of decision making within Greater Manchester, created a real buzz of excitement, with lots of talk of collaboration and new connections being made.

The key proposals on the table at the summit are a great start in the journey, with a couple of them being confirmed to go ahead. However, the lack of a real target being set was disappointing. It’s fantastic to see that the ambition to set a target is there and that we will be revisiting it within-the-year, not in-a-year, is promising, as the longer we wait to set an accelerated zero-carbon target, the less time the rest of the city region has to get onboard with the plan and take real, meaningful action. To this end, I believe it’s even more important that those organisations and individuals who did attend or engage with the summit commit to taking action now. And I don’t just mean continuing to do what you’re already doing. If you recycle, you can’t just pledge to keep recycling. If you’re a large water treatment company, you can’t just hand out a few water bottles and think that’s your part done. As you heard throughout the day, it’s going to take brave, forward-thinking action to cut carbon emissions to a level which will protect future generations, here and across the world. What we need is real, meaningful action now, that way, when Andy Burnham calls his next summit, we can collectively show him what we’ve already achieved, that we are serious about this target, and that we are going to be the ones to save our planet from the worst effects of climate change.

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