London Meeting 29th January 2013
It's the start of a new year and with it we face old and new challenges as we campaign to tackle climate change.
The first London group meeting of the year was held on the 29th January, it's focus was on assessing the successes and failures of last year's events to act as a springboard for discussion of what tactics and campaigns we should implement this year.
The discussion was enthused and will continue at the next London meeting in February, where we hope to consolidate our ideas to bring to the AGM on the 2nd March.
This being said, Campaign against Climate Change is more than a London group - with all of us being based in different parts of the UK and abroad. So, join the discussion!
If you would like a starting point, the minutes of the meeting are below.
London Meeting 29th January 2013
23 people present
Welcome & Brief Introductions from everyone in the room
To frame the meeting’s discussion as to what CCC should focus on this year an overview of the last year’s events were given:
Anti-fracking Gathering in Manchester
One Million Climate Jobs Caravan
Alternative Rio Conference
Zero Carbon Britain Day
National Climate March (Get Fracktious)
Plus stalls held at other org’s events
The meeting was then opened up to discuss what was a success or a failure, and what we can use from this to go forward:
Strong points: General feeling that Alternative Rio Conference was very successful – due its collaboration with other groups, giving information and space for debate
- Lack of detailed knowledge by participants in the Get Fracktious demonstration.
- Need more info to be made available – info sessions & public meetings.
- Counter point made that the purpose of the leaflets are to mobilise people, and direct them to sources for more information on the subject
- Responsiveness that the campaign had to the Arctic news with the iceberg was good
- Alternative Rio Conference didn’t have a balance of opinions in the geo-engineering seminar
Solution: Ensure there is a balanced panel when presenting arguments
Suggestions for conferences:
- Public meeting on Geo-engineering
- Social Justice
- Nuclear power
- Economics debate – zero growth
- Food security
Need to stimulate debate
Should we have a stated position on items such as geo-engineering, nuclear?
Eg Geo-engineering not THE solution but possibly a solution.
- Need balance between having stated positions and being open to other views/people
- In France climate change meetings tend to get hijacked by anti-nuclear people. Also issues with creating a stereotype of people who believe addressing climate change is important, i.e. we may put off people who think climate change is an important issue but don’t join us because they feel that they have to identify with us on all levels.
- A proposal was made that we should have a geo-engineering debate at the AGM
- It was pointed out that there will be big differences of opinion when discussing tackling climate change, but we must have a core uniting them in our concern about climate change.
General Discussion about potential events:
- Proposal for future events – to recreate the climate train that went to Copenhagen for COP 21 in Paris (in 2015) and to create events around the 5th assessment IPCC report.
- Mention that we could do this with the COP19 being in Warsaw this year. Also that there is a cycling caravan going that we could link up with, and hold events with groups that we have links with on the way
- James from Transition Towns said that he was in contact with green economics institute (in reference to the potential for a public meeting on economics and zero growth)
- The need for unity with groups on the continent and solidarity.
- Suggestion that Campaign against Climate Change brings up the topic of diet- non-diary, vegetarianism.
- Suggestion of a food security conference
Discussion on what the focus should be:
- Point was made that carbon emissions can be a “turn off” for some people, instead we need to highlight the benefits. E.g. saving forests, tribes, less junk mail
- Social Justice issues – we need to make connections and/links with this
A question was put forward: How much impact are we having on Politicians?
Not there yet; maybe we need clarification on what our asks/demands are for our targets/need more clarification on who we think we want our targets to be.
I.e. Do we want to focus on grassroots or lobbying government? Do these need to be mutually exclusive?
- Point was made that we need to lobby Politicians to takje climate change seriously
- Suggestion that we need to bring everyone/range of people in, including Trade Unions
- All the issues that we face are systemic so we need to be aware of this in our campaigning
- When we hold a public meeting we need to follow it up with an action, somewhere to take the feelings that we have after realising/discussing these issues
- Need to address the threat of losing Arctic sea ice by 2015 – what ae the consequences?
- In the United States some “squeaky clean” people are campaigning, we need more “normal”/mainstream people
- Highlight the fact that what we want (renewables, one million climate jobs, control over own energy, no fuel poverty, protecting our world forever) is something that will benefit all regardless of whether climate change is happening. Reference to a cartoon that says “What happens if we make the world better for no reason!”
- What practical things can we do? Community owned power, transition towns. – Need a “What can I do” bit on the website
- Highlight actions/activities such as guerrilla gardening as part of what we can do
- Suggestion that we push for climate change to be much more integrated into education
- We should celebrate victories in the climate movement, share other groups victories with our supporters, but follow this with the next step (what we will/need to do now)
- People are waking up to what is happening, e.g. through meat consumption
- Is there a better way twitter/facebook can be utilize e.g. more little messages to keep people reminded that we are here and active
Chair summed up:
What came out of the discussion was that we need to present more information to the public – through meetings and literature; we should use our strength of holding public meetings to do this whilst also using it as opportunity to debate and discuss controversial points so that they aren’t ignored and lead to problems later; we need to unite with groups wherever and whenever possible – support them, promote them, work with them; focus on positive actions – promoting the alternatives not just saying no; celebrate everyone’s victories and use them to give us the energy to move forward to the next step.
It’s difficult to end a meeting without anything tangible, but do come to the next London meeting and the AGM so that we can start to shape all these thoughts into action plans.
Shout out for: Highbury & Islington Transition town meeting 5th Feb, 8pm 10a Pond Sq.