Just before Christmas 2018 Machynlleth became the first Town Council in Wales to declare a “climate emergency”. It has since been followed by Aberystwyth, Tywyn, Lampeter, Llanidloes and Newtown Town Councils, and has also inspired Powys County Council to act.
So what does it mean? It’s a recognition that the threat of climate change is so serious that we all need to try to make changes as soon as possible. It also marks the start of a process where any local people who are interested are invited to get involved in taking decisions about what we can do.
Machynlleth Town Council were the first in Wales to declare a climate emergency. The Town Council agreed to launch an inclusive consultation to develop an action plan over the next 6 months to:
make Machynlleth net-zero carbon as soon as possible;
increase local resilience to climate impacts;
maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as health, agriculture, transport and the economy.
It also agreed to:
Call on Wales and UK Government to provide the support and resources to make this possible;
Work with other local areas, particularly the community councils and other partners in the Dyfi Biosphere;
Report within six months with the actions the town can take to address this emergency, for example increasing the energy efficiency of the Plas, or working with the town’s purchasing policy;
Discuss with Renew Wales how they might support this process.
An open meeting in February 2019 led to the setting up of ten groups: 1) a steering group to oversee the process; 2) an engagement group; and the following topic groups - 3) energy in buildings, 4) transport, 5) waste, 6) food, 7) biodiversity, 8) well-being, 9) planning & economic development, 10) energy supply
In the last 6 months there have been a total of more than 50 working group meetings. In the main body of the interim report/plan provided to the Town Council on 24th July 2019 is a summary of each working group’s activity and initial action plans.
The main focus is on what we can do as a community, whether from our own resources or with some help from outside. An example might be an electric vehicle available to use through a car club. However, in some cases the action will have to come mainly from agencies, companies or government, so no doubt some of the actions in the draft action plan will be to lobby others. An example might be a better network of electric vehicle charging points.
The key is to identify what makes it difficult for us to do improve the situation. Knowing what these barriers are will help us identify what will make it easier for us to make these choices, and will allow us to explore how to bring about these improvements. The exciting thing is that many of these changes are likely to improve our quality of life too, such as by reducing air pollution or improving public transport.
Download the full report here: Climate Action Report July 2019
For further information please contact;
Machynlleth Town Council
Mr Jim Griffiths.
Phone: 01654 702571. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Machynlleth Climate Action
Machynlleth Extinction Rebellion
Machynlleth Youth Exctinction Rebellion
For information on climate action in the Aberystwyth area and how you can get involved please contact;
Aberystwyth Town Council
Ms Gwyneira Raw-Rees.
Aberystwyth Extinction Rebellion
Aberystwyth People's Practice
To find out more about what is going on in Tywyn please contact;
Tywyn Town Council
Phone: 01654 712411. Email: email@example.com