COP26


Jonathan Smith has issued a press statement.  Here's the full version:

The messages from COP26 are clear and demand action, not just fine words. There is no time to waste for radical change in the way we go about our lives, and in the impact we have on the environment around us. Our leaders need to have the courage to do things differently, to re-write the 'rule book'. All of us need to support the challenging agenda set by the Glasgow Conference. 

It is tempting to think that the whole thing is hopeless; that nothing we can do at a local level will make any difference at all. But it can, and will.
Three issues in Tatton stand out as key tests of the commitments being given at COP26: is this the moment for real change, or just another false dawn - with devastating consequences?
  1. Will Cheshire East Council allow 225 houses to be built on land in Longridge, which, for decades, has been a wild woodland and meadow, giving home to countless plants, birds, and animals, and a vital local leisure asset for walkers and families? Even though the land was designated for housing in the Neighbourhood Plan a few years ago, doesn't COP26 change the whole context of what is permitted development? Don't the international commitments to deforestation start right here, in Longridge? Our Councillors have perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to decide in favour of protecting this precious landscape for future generations: will they take it?
  2. Will Transport for the North finally prioritise improving the frequency and quality of train services on the long-neglected Mid-Cheshire Line, so that children can travel safely to school, commuters have a credible alternative to the car, and visitors can use the railway to explore everything that Cheshire has to offer?
  3. Will central and local government acknowledge the critical role played by peat bogs, such as Lindow Moss, in absorbing carbon, and cleaning up the atmosphere? Could COP26 prove to be the catalyst for real investment in both protecting and restoring this unique, local asset? 

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