27 August 2020
Shropshire and Telford Green Parties welcome the establishment of Zero Carbon Shropshire, the new Shropshire Climate Action Partnership, bringing together the councils in Shropshire and Telford, community groups, higher education providers and the business community. We particularly welcome its stated aim for Shropshire and Telford to become net zero carbon by 2030, the recognition that the ecological crisis is inextricably linked to the climate crisis, and that the transition to net zero carbon should have a positive impact on the lives, livelihoods and resilience of communities and future generations in Shropshire, the UK and across the world.
A local partnership has the potential to address both the climate emergency and the need for a post Covid 19 green recovery that creates secure jobs, strong communities, and a healthy environment.
This partnership can be vital in identifying job-rich emissions reduction opportunities in areas such as local renewable energy, home insulation and transition to fossil fuel free heating, waste reduction and the circular economy, travel planning & transport modal shift, heat networks, nature-based carbon capture and many more. It can lead in identifying commercial or financing opportunities for green economy initiatives, including through community and mixed ownership and investment models that build community wealth. It can identify and help to address local green skills shortages. We call for Trade Unions locally to contribute as partners.
The partnership can win wide support, lead others and share progress reports with the public. Local democracy can be strengthened with wide participation using a range of mechanisms such as a Citizens Assembly through which the community can take ownership of the process.
Our councils will need to provide leadership and commitment for this partnership to flourish. They will need to lead by example, both by addressing their own emissions rapidly, and by embedding green recovery and zero carbon principles into their policies and relationships with suppliers and contractors. They will need to respond positively to community voices and initiatives. They will need to rethink their existing commitments to forms of economic ‘growth’ that don’t secure a zero carbon future; most obviously this means Shropshire Council rescinding plans for a Shrewsbury North West 'Relief' Road.
We look forward to contributing positively to this initiative. We are pleased to see Green Party members already contributing in the establishment of the partnership and encourage all our members and supporters to work with others to make this a success.
You can sign up to Zero Carbon Shropshire here: https://zerocarbonshropshire.org/