Stockport Friends of the Earth is a local environmental campaign group, taking action on local, national and international issues.
We see things differently. We see ideas, solutions, fresh perspectives, and ways of living, for a healthy relationship between people and the environment. We depend on the planet, so let's keep it in good shape. Let's act together for the planet and everyone who lives on it...
"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change" Rajendra Pachauri Chairman, IPCC
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth executive director commented "Giant strides are urgently needed to tackle the challenges we face, but all we get is tiny steps, excuses and delays from most of the politicians that are supposed to represent our interests."
"Governments across the world must stand up to the oil, gas and coal industries, and take their foot off the fossil fuel accelerator that's speeding us towards a climate disaster."
We need to cut carbon pollution fast if we want to avoid dangerous climate change and much more extreme weather. This means leaving the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground and not searching for more through using methods such as fracking.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen, 120 countries agreed the Copenhagen Accord...
... to hold the increase in global temperature compared with pre-industrial levels to below 2°C and take action to meet this objective consistent with science and on the basis of equity.
Professor Kevin Anderson is Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. With his colleague Alice Bows, Kevin's work on carbon budgets has been pivotal in revealing the widening gulf between political rhetoric on climate change and the reality of rapidly escalating emissions. His work makes clear that there is now little chance of maintaining the rise in global temperature at below 2°C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary. Moreover, Kevin's research demonstrates how avoiding even a 4°C rise demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society.
There is a widespread view that 4°C is incompatible with an organised global community, beyond 'adaptation', devastating to eco-systems and highly unlikely to be stable (tipping points trigger massive increase in temperature).
The Government has published a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) aimed at building new roads for 40% more car, van and lorry trips by 2040. We need everyone who is concerned about transport, the countryside and especially climate change to tell them to abandon these dangerous plans.
Climate concerns gagged: most outrageously, climate pledges are brushed under the carpet with a clause that prevents campaigners objecting to road projects on the grounds of carbon emissions.
Saying that other policies will 'offset' the impact of more car travel, the draft policy tells planning examiners to ignore carbon emissions when making decisions. "Increases in carbon emissions from a development should not therefore need to be considered" - draft National Policy Statement.
In cahoots with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Stockport Council, Sir Andrew Stunell MP and his successor continue to push for more road building which will not only add to climate change, but will spread air pollution across Stockport and ensure trade and jobs bypass Stockport Town Centres, too.
Instead of making the situation worse by continuing with 'business as usual' practices from last century, we should be allocating resources to mitigating and adapting against climate change.
According to Stockport Times (4/7/13) main front page article headlined 'Relief road may increase traffic' could see traffic in surrounding areas increase by 150 per cent. (Figures quoted for an average day in 2017 after taking into account additional measures taken on surrounding roads to reduce traffic.) Where the A555 meets the A34 at the Handforth Dean junction traffic will be up 27 per cent and also at the Eden Point roundabout in Cheadle Hulme where again there will be an increase of 27 per cent.
. . . More likely gridlock than relief !
We know that building new roads does not solve people's transport problems. Instead, road-building generates new traffic movements that did not previously exist, damages the countryside, adds to climate change and makes cities, towns and villages less pleasant places to live for everyone. That is why Friends of the Earth is working with Campaign for Better Transport on their Roads to Nowhere campaign to stop Stockport, Manchester and Cheshire East councils from building 6 miles of road from Stockport to Manchester Airport.
The business case for the road didn't add up in the late 1990's when it was originally discussed. It makes even less sense in 2013. According to the Councils' own reports - the new road will see a likely 21% increase in traffic at certain areas. More traffic means more pollution and more climate busting emissions.
Let's find a better use for £300 million than 6 miles of . . . congestion-causing, environment-busting, climate-changing road.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said air pollution from traffic and industrial fumes was a definite cause of lung cancer and also linked to bladder cancer. The strong verdict from IARC, a cautious body that pronounces only when the evidence is strong, will put pressure on governments to take action.
IARC monitors studies on cancer risks and issues official monographs when it has come to conclusions about a potential carcinogen. It has put out warnings about individual chemicals in the air. Diesel engine exhaust, solvents, metals and dusts have all been labelled carcinogenic. This is the first time it has classified air pollution in general as a cause of cancer.
The UK Supreme Court ruled the UK government has failed in its legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of air pollution.(1/5/13)
Air pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK and is linked to heart and respiratory diseases including asthma.
With the possibility of heavy fines and European commission action closer, Britain may now have little option but to come forward with ambitious new plans to reduce NO2 pollution in cities. Because most of the pollution is from cars, these could include ultra low-emission zones, bans on certain vehicles and the use of technological "solutions" such as dust suppressants.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "The decision means the government must put public health at the heart of transport policy. In practice this should mean investing in alternatives to cars and diesel vans and trucks, especially in towns and cities. It should also call into question government plans for major new roads."
"This is a significant judgment that ministers must not ignore," said the Friends of the Earth campaigner, Jenny Bates. "The UK's attitude to air pollution is a national scandal. We urge government to tackle this crisis, and to scrap plans to build more roads."
Scientists at the University of Southampton reveal chemicals in diesel exhaust hamper honeybees ability to find flowers.
Tests showed that exhaust degraded some floral scent chemicals the bees 'home in on' when they are foraging.
The team found it was the highly reactive nitrogen oxides (NOx) that chemically altered the smell by removing key chemicals within a minute of exposure. Emissions from petrol vehicles contained even higher levels of NOx. Traffic fumes make honeybees miss flower scent (Guardian report (3/10/13))
The study highlighted the need to reduce pollution and improve air quality, in order to protect pollinating insects as well as improve human health.
Stockport Friends of the Earth wish to ensure that our local countryside can continue to be enjoyed by the people of Stockport as a tranquil place to visit away from the noise of road traffic (and new road building).
The scheme offers free or heavily subsidised boiler replacements and free insulation to eligible residents across Greater Manchester.
Efficient heating and insulation can bring down the costs of keeping homes warm significantly.
Two sugars or one; milk or none, I want a good cup of tea - not one that stains the land and leaves tea pickers feeling bitter.
And I don't want to buy a phone or shoes - or anything else for that matter - which tramples the environment and makes children work in mines or factories.
Plus I'm fed up worrying if my food is what it claims to be. It's the 21st century and I expect better. Companies need to come clean.
The plight of the humble bee symbolises a wider mistreatment of nature, and the threats bees are facing are varied and wide ranging. Across the UK habitat loss, farming practices, pesticides and diseases are all making life difficult for bees - and in 2012 this was compounded by the weird weather. And it's not just honey bees - many wild bumblebees and solitary bees are also declining at an alarming rate. Two bumblebee species are already extinct. 25% of British bees are listed in the Red Data Book of threatened species. None are protected by law.
Stockport Hydro share offer still open - an opportunity to invest in Stockport's first community-owned hydroelectric scheme.
Stockport Friends of the Earth are supporting Greater Manchester's first operational community-owned hydroelectric scheme, situated on the River Goyt in Bredbury.