Northamptonshire climate action group lobbying council about an number of key issues

The group is hoping West Northamptonshire Council will address issues such as carbon emissions and public transport

By Carly Odell
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:30 am

A Northamptonshire climate action group is urging the council to take immediate action on climate change.

Climate Action – West Northamptonshire (CA-WN) is a residents’ action group that was set up in and around Towcester in November 2019.

As the group grew and local government switched to authorities, the decision was made to rename the group and widen its remit.

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Members of the climate action group are urging the council to take immediate action.

Now members are lobbying West Northamptonshire Council on a number of issues, including reducing its own carbon emissions, improving public transport and working on moving away from using fossil fuels to heat homes.

The group also wants to see the council start to implement plans to meet its own target of being carbon neutral by 2030.

Jane Wood, chair of CA-WN, said: “There are an awful lot of things that need doing.

“In the immediate future there is the Climate Action Now summit and we would expect to hear from them (the council) fairly soon on who they will engage with.

“In the longer term there are two main areas; what they can do as a council themselves, such as reducing carbon emissions in their own buildings, own vehicles and own activities and they need to start getting out across the community to influence businesses and residents to cut their carbon emissions.

“They also need to look at public transport so it is easier to use, and to make it better and safer to walk or cycle outside of the town centre.

“We would also like to see work around moving away from using fossil fuels for heating homes.

“We really want to get the government to understand that people do care about this.”

In July, members of the group met with councillors and the council’s head of climate implementation to express their concern that not enough has been done to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or to protect residents from the effects of climate change.

Representatives also spoke at two council meetings on the topics of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Jane says the council is 'very conscious' of the need for action on climate change and has not pushed back on what the group is saying to them.

For members of the public, Jane has also shared ways in which they can help the fight against climate change, which are cheap and can be brought into effect immediately.

She added: “A lot of people know there is a climate crisis, but they’re not really sure what they can do about it.

“The biggest thing people can do is buy less stuff; we need to reduce our overall consumption.

“Obviously people need to buy food, but we can think about what we are buying and if it can be bought without packaging or less packaging.

“And next time you think about clicking ‘buy now’ on Amazon, just stop and think ‘do I really need this or have I got one I could fix?’

“Also if people could look at their gardens and think ‘would a bee or butterfly be attracted to this?’

“If not, if they could just plant a pot or two of lavender, it could really help and would be better than nothing.

“These are things that don’t cost a lot of money, they just need a change in mindset.”

Looking ahead, during August the group will carry out a survey of parish and town councils throughout Northamptonshire, in conjunction with Northamptonshire ACRE, to find out what actions are being taken to adapt communities for a world where climate change is a fact of everyday life.

Results of the survey will be published in September.