Monday, 27 November 2017

Driving climate action in Kirklees - Andrew Cooper - European Committee ...



It took pretty much a full day to film this and it was cold! Nice to meet Sue Lee-Richards and Louise Galvin at Castle Hill with other volunteers cleaning up after Bonfire Night and who became impromptu extras. Then down to Gideon and Sue's house to look at all their renewable energy gizmos and the electric car. Well done to the film crew from Brussels who did such a good job putting it together.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Labour back Stewart Smith’s plans to build on the Newsome Bowling Green site

Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner speaking against Stewart Smith's
planning application
The Newsome Bowling Green that was dug up by Stewart Smith a few months ago, after he denied local bowlers access and demolished their club house, has been granted Planning Permission following a proposal by a Labour Councillor on the Planning Committee. Mr Smith claims he will make a million pounds from the sale of the site.

Green Councillor Julie Stewart-Turner who represented residents at the Planning Committee said,

 "Just because Mr Smith has destroyed the current Bowling Green it does not mean a new one cannot be developed on the same site. It would be a sad reflection on the Council if someone was allowed to abuse some land and then we gave in to them doing what they like on it”

A legal Covenant held by Kirklees Council remains on the land that says it can only be used as a Bowling Green

“The Covenant on the land still stands and we as local Councillors will not be bullied by anyone into removing it” said Julie who called on the Committee to support the residents and refuse the Application.
Labour Councillor James Holmewood supporting Stewart Amith's application

Labour Councillor James Holmewood then moved the recommendation to approve Mr Smith’s application to build on the site

“I am happy to move the recommendation” Labour Councillor James Holmewood who was seconded by the Conservatives

The Covenant is the last line of defence against building on the site and local Green Councillors will have to be overruled by the Labour Cabinet if it the Covenant is to be lifted to allow Mr Smith to develop on the land.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Bonn breakthrough as Climate Summit agrees Local and Regional Targets

At COP23 in Bonn today at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders agreement was acheived to establish Local and Regional targets to help keep global temperatures below 1.5 - 2 degrees C.

Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper who conceived the idea of Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions towards acheiving the climate goals of the COP21 Paris Climate Agreement said,

"I am really pleased by the decision today from delegates from around the world. It has been a 2 year journey from first having the idea to getting the EU Committee of the Regions to adopt it, to todays vote on the Summit Declaration of Local and Regional Leaders. The real work starts now in implementing Local and Regional Contributions towards reducing emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement"

The Summit Declaration which was adopted unanimously stated,

" We will establish our own Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions to help national Governments  achieve and exceed existing Nationally Determined Contributions"

Councillor Cooper said


"At COP21 in Paris 2 years ago National Governments expressed their efforts to achieve carbon emission reduction targets as ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ - NDCs. In the case of the UK our NDC made no reference to the work being undertaken by Local Authorities to reduce emissions. Efforts at the local level such as improved building standards beyond building regulation, installing LED street lights, planting trees to capture carbon emissions etc were simply not measured or taken into account in those national contributions and therefore not valued. A system of Locally Determined Contributions would change all that and allow Local and Regional Authorities to determine their own targets with robust plans to acheive them.

There is of course a strong relevance here to those in the United States who are opposing the Trump Administration's abandonment of the Climate Agreement. Many States are already forging ahead with carbon saving plans despite Trump but an agreed system of Local and Regionally determined Contributions gives structure and legitimacy to their action based on an international agreement."

So what is it like at a Global Climate Summit?



I'm here at the COP23 Climate Summit in Bonn and I thought I'd try to convey to you what its like.

The first thing to say is that it is huge. There are over 20,000 people who are registered delegates for this event from all round the world so there is a very diverse and sometimes colourful array of people attending. The venue is essentially a huge  rigid tent like  structure with halls , meeting room, restaurants all connected
by corridors. The number of events is dazzling and you have to pick what you can go to
carefully.

I got an invite to a screening of Al Gore's new film 'An Inconvenient Sequel' with the man himself speaking afterwards which was a must do.

There is of course all the events around Summit of Local and Regional Leaders which have been my focus as part of my push for 'Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions. I've also done a number of media interviews which of course is a key reason to be here and to get the message across. There are a number of exhibition areas where national
delegations and NGOs have stands in big halls. Occasionally you'll meet someone you know as you travel between venues and catch up before you move on to the next thing. It is interesting, its different and big opportunity to make contacts and increase your knowledge on the biggest
challenge facing humanity.

 For me getting something tangible out of this unique experience is what its all about. Only a few hours to go to find out if that's been acheived.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

PRESS RELEASE - Green Councillor to take on Trump at Bonn Climate Change Talks


Councillor Andrew Cooper
Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper is attending the COP23 Climate Change Talks in Bonn, Germany next week and he has a plan to tackle the Climate Change Denying US President, Donald Trump.

Andrew is a member of the UK Delegation to the EU Committee of the Regions that represents the views of Local and Regional Governments in the European Union. At a meeting of the Committee last month he successfully got this European Institution to back a policy that would give Councils and Regional bodies the ability to contribute directly towards the Paris Climate Change targets without referring to their National Governments.

“Currently all action to reduce carbon emissions goes through National Governments through a system of ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’.” said Councillor Cooper “My proposal is to establish Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions where Councils and bodies below National Governments could establish their own targets and produce plans to implement them.”

Now Councillor Cooper’s initiative has been passed at the European Level, the EU Committee of the Regions is taking it as one of their principal proposals to the COP23 Global Climate Talks in Bonn this month. Councillor Cooper will be attending the Summit of Local and Regional Leaders and will seek to get the policy inserted into the Summit Declaration.

“Adopting this policy will provide a way for State Governments in the USA to produce plans to reduce carbon emissions without seeking the permission of their President. We cannot allow the illogical and unscientific approach taken by President Trump to go unchallenged. This is a way he can be side stepped and give those politicians who take a rational approach in the USA the policies they need to make the action they take at the local level count towards international climate change targets.”

Councillor Cooper also explained the benefits of the policy for Councils in the UK

“This proposal is also very relevant to us in Kirklees. Action we take at the local level, such as mass insulation schemes, installing LED Streetlights or tree planting projects would not currently be taken into account in the UK Government’s Carbon Reduction Plans. Under my proposal any action we take to reduce carbon emissions would be taken into account and make it easier to achieve our challenging targets to reduce global greenhouse gases.”

The Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be held on 12th of November with the Summit Declaration being announced at the end of the day.

ENDS

A Briefing Note on Locally Determined Contributions
EU Committee of the Regions backs Local Targets on Climate Change

Contact

Councillor Andrew Cooper – Mobile - 07721 348619        Email – andrew.cooper@greenparty.org.uk