A Town Councillor dressed as a Polar Bear greeted members of the public as they arrived at Chippenham Town Hall on Monday evening. Town councillors and members of the public gathered to hear climate change speaker Nikki Jones, Pete West of Wessex Community Energy and other speakers talk about the challenge and solutions to the climate crisis, now being called a ‘Climate Emergency’ by many.
Cllr Nick Murry, who chaired the meeting, spoke about the need to overcome our addiction to fossil fuels. He explained how the International Panel on Climate Change “Special Report on Global Warming” published last October, had essentially ‘moved the goal posts’, and a temperature rise of more than 1.5 degrees was no longer considered safe, requiring much more urgent action.
Delving into the science and describing the scientific consensus behind climate change, Nikki Jones explained that we have just twelve years to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or we will face severe adverse consequences.
Renewable energy expert, Alex Lockton spoke about the practical action being taken by local group Zero Chippenham, working in partnership with Wessex Community Energy towards practical solutions to reduce Chippenham’s carbon footprint.
In a moving speech, Poppy Jabelman, a sixth form student from Sheldon School, addressed the Council members present saying that “In twelve years it will be too late…” “the time to act is now.” Speaking about the recent school climate strikes, she said “It is simply unfair that thousands of students must take to the streets and scream for your attention.”
She concluded: “The youth has spoken. Our commitment and determination is clear, so Council members, it is time for you to show yours.” Many councils around the UK are declaring a Climate Emergency, pledging to reduce carbon emissions and urging Government to give them more resources to do so. A Climate Emergency motion will be put to Chippenham Town Council at their full Council meeting on 27th March.
Photo (L-R): Nikki Jones, Cllr Chris Ruck, Cllr Ruth Lloyd (in Polar Bear suit), Pete West (Wessex Community Energy), Cllr Nick Murry (Chair, Zero Chippenham), Poppy Jabelman (Sheldon School’s Eco Council), Alex Lockton (VC, Zero Chippenham), Cllr Sandie Webb (Chippenham Town Council Leader)