The whole idea of climate change can seem a little unreal, something that will happen in some remote future. Maybe that is why the problem is now so urgent. Even in quiet, suburban Eastcote, serious flooding is happening more often due to extreme weather events which are expected to become more frequent and more extreme.
Hillingdon Council has followed up its Climate Emergency Declaration from early last year by issuing a draft Strategic Climate Change Action Plan and offering it for consultation. The Plan itself, and instructions on how to respond to the consultation, can be found on the Council website at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/Climate-consultation .
There is an online survey divided into seven Themes: Community Leadership, The Council’s Own Operations, Building Better Places, Using Clean and Green Energy, Waste Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, and Carbon Offsetting. For each one, you are asked to respond yes or no to the questions: ‘Is our approach clear?’ and ‘Have we missed anything?’ There is then a suggestions/comments box for each Theme.
It becomes a bit difficult if you want to say something that doesn’t fit easily into one of those themes, so there is an option to compile your own response and email it in.
The Council are clear that the Plan is the first step in a process that will involve the whole community, and that the Council must take a leadership role. Here’s a brief quote from the Plan: “Responding to the climate emergency requires a collaborative effort from everyone. It is therefore important that there is full engagement. It is also important to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to present their ideas and their experiences to ensure that the Council is progressing in the right direction.”
However urgent you think the climate crisis is, it’s probably way more urgent than that. So please set aside a little time, read the plan, and respond to the consultation by 20 June, so that the Council has a strong mandate for real transformative action.