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November 2016 Newsletter
A round up of news and views
Outcome of COP22 - This UN meeting was held in Marrakech last month to discuss ways of keeping the Earth below a 1.5°C temperature rise. Limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C requires major transformations that need to begin immediately. Climate Action Tracker provides insights on the ten most important steps that need to be taken in specifc sectors in the short term—to 2020 and 2025—if the Paris Agreement temperature goal is to be met. For all ten elements they show signs that the transition of this magnitude is possible: in some specifc cases it’s already happening. Achieving these ten steps in the period to 2020 and 2025 would put the world on a pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Find out more...
Ratifying the Paris Agreement - The UK has become the 111th country to ratify the Paris climate agreement, which aims to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change by cutting carbon emissions. The foreign minister, Boris Johnson, who has flirted with climate scepticism, signed the pact in London on Thursday after a parliamentary deadline passed on Wednesday night, with no objections raised.
Speaking at the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Nick Hurd, the industry and climate minister, said: “The UK is ratifying the historic Paris agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all.
“I hope this will send a very strong message of continued international commitment to implement Paris because it is obviously very important to send that signal out.”
It will be interesting to see how the government delivers on their 'commitments', in the face of recent annoucements to cancel the Green Deal, discourage the development of community energy, build a third airport runway, promote fracking and maintain fossil fuel subsidies.
Air Quality in Marlborough - Cold, sunny, Winter days promote a build up of air pollutants, due to the 'inversion effect'. On the first day of December air pollution was HIGH, across the South West, according to DEFRA. However, Marlborough's Particulate Monitor on London Road is still out of action. This means that all the data that was collected for the first 9 months of 2016 is now meaningless and could put Wiltshire Council in breach of environmental laws.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says "smooth" driving would cut air pollution, linked to 25,000 deaths a year in England. One of their key recommendations is to introduce 20mph speed limits, in all towns and cities, find out more...
A recent UNDP report states that the costs involved in getting rid of fossil fuels, would be saved by the elimination of health care costs, associated respiratory diseases due to air pollution.
Look out for TM's petition calling for a 20mph speed limit in Marlborough to reduce air pollution and improve road safety.
Neighbourhood Planning - Sam and Peter have been working as volunteers on the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Planning committee (MANP). You may have taken part in one of the local consultations already. Sam has also been involved with the sub-committee that is working on the terms of reference for a housing needs survey. A questionnaire has now been prepared to capture your family's views of their housing needs. We are also keen to find out about the energy-efficiency of the local housing stock and locate areas of fuel poverty. This information will be used once grants become available for home insulation. You will receive your questionnaire in the post in January 2017. Please do take care to fill it in - the first one returned will receive a prize of £100!
The Transition Marlborough team
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