Chris Beales (RCCP Chair) and Ben Burfoot (RBC Sustainability Manager) will present the Reading Climate Change Strategy, and discuss plans to adapt to the changing climate and to reduce our carbon footprint. These are hugely important challenges for our town and will be big factors in shaping the Reading 2050 vision.
The annual UN Climate Conference, COP24 is taking place in Katowice, Poland. It started on the 2nd Dec and will finish on the 14th Dec. 190 countries are meeting at COP24 and must get results on action towards all countries’ Paris Agreement targets.
Teams of students from secondary schools across Reading, representing 15 countries from Fiji to USA, met in the Council Chambers on Wednesday 5th December to carry out their own talks on progress towards the Paris Agreement and try to negotiate raising ambition for more action.
Prof. Paul Williams from University of Reading addressed the children and emphasized the realities of global warming and human interference. Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Environment, said: “Climate change is a subject which young people rightly feel passionate about. The mock conference was opened by the Mayor of Reading, councillor Debs Edwards and children were asked to exchange ideas to tackle this global problem.
What is happening on Climate Change around the world?
On 3rd Dec 2018, Sir David Attenborough said the below at the COP24
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years, Climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
The clear messages the students gave for everyone in the Council Chambers were on similar lines too:
the immediacy of the effects of climate change for every country in the world, the effects being especially hard-hitting for vulnerable countries
the complexity of decision-making and contradictions of policy-making, particularly where economic interests based on fossil fuels, and political reticence are taking precedence
the vital part that cooperation between countries can play in increasing momentum by helping to distribute finance, and to learn from great ideas that are already working elsewhere in the world.
What can we do locally about Climate Change?
The second part of the conference brought Local Action into sharp focus. The extent of the commitment to climate action by Local Government was strongly conveyed by Cllr Tony Page in his opening words and Chris Beales, Chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership. He stressed the part that each individual has to play, and what students in particular can do to help galvanise others.
“…schools are really influential parts of our community, if you pass on what you know about climate change to your fellow students, and teachers…and you all pass on to your friends and families…we can reach a lot of people. And this is such an important issue…we need you to pester, and jump up and down about this until we get it sorted.” – Chris Beales
Sustainability experts from Reading Climate Change Partnership, Reading Council’s Sustainability Team and local organisations provided details of great local initiatives and ways for students to make a difference: from energy use in school, growing food, using green space differently through to signing up to a transport initiative or influencing recycling. Each school went away with at least one idea or ‘pledge’ for what they can do, and ICN will follow to make sure that the tools are in place for going about it.
Our huge thanks go to Reading Borough Council for hosting the event and Reading Climate Change Partnership for its support.
Workshop contributors: Nature Nurture, Reading Borough Council Sustainability Team, Reading Climate Change Partnership, Reading International Solidarity Centre, Reading 2050, Stuart Singleton-White COnsultant, University of Reading Dept of Environmental Science.
The Environment Agency is investigating options to reduce flood risk in north Reading and Lower Caversham.
Flooding in this area affects homes, businesses, utilities and a number of busy roads for long periods of time. We have been investigating a number of options, most of which include building flood walls and embankments.
The Environment Egency are inviting the residents to come to a drop-in on Thursday 6 December from 2.30pm to 7.30pm
Caversham Baptist Church, South Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8HY
190 countries will meet in Katowice, Poland in December for the annual UN Climate Conference, COP24 and it must get results on action towards all countries’ Paris Agreement targets.
Teams of students from six local secondary schools will also meet on 5th December to carry out their own debate on progress towards the Paris Agreement and try to negotiate raising ambition for more action.
They will represent 14 different countries from Fiji to the USA. As in the real COP24, the country teams will have a significant challenge as a summary produced by the organisers, InterClimate Network, shows that progress towards Paris targets has been slower than the world needs.
In the second part of the afternoon, local sustainability leaders and active organisations will work with students in mini-workshops linked directly to RCAN’s themes. We want students to be encouraged to generate their own pledges and inspired to take on their own climate action back at school.
Thanks go to the Mayor of Reading and Reading Borough Council for hosting this event and to Reading Climate Change Partnership and RBC’s Sustainability Team for their active support.
Come and join us at the Reading Town Meal on Saturday 29th September. We are going to use this as an opportunity to launch our new website and the revised Reading Climate Change strategy.
Please do come and find us on one of the stalls. You can find out more about our aims for the next couple of years, and find out how you can get involved.
and there’s still time to sign up and help with this year’s meal. Can you provide some excess vegetables from your garden? help to collect equipment and supplies? help on the day? see the main town meal website for more options and to sign up
This Friday, 27th July – 1pm – I’m very excited to be joining Fiona Talkington (BBC Radio 3 presenter and festival curator), and 3 other panelists to talk about “ice, climate change, silence, darkness and beyond”. It’s going to be a really interesting cross-over between what I’ve been doing as part of the Reading Climate Change Partnership, and my other world as a musician.
Nyani Quarmyne’s photographs of coastal erosion in Ghana bring a moving and powerful perspective to the discussion. Nyani is from Reading’s Twin Town of Düsseldorf.
Fiona Talkington (Chair)
BBC Radio presenter on Radio3 and 4 for over 20 years, Fiona was brought up and still lives in Reading. She has worked extensively in Norway with music, literature, art and film and has hosted and chaired events in the worlds of the arts, health and education in the UK and abroad.