The next West Midlands Greener Together forum is on Monday 12th September in Coventry and online. This forum, set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority, will be centred on “Re-imagining Transport”.
Here is what CANWM – Climate Action Network West Midlands – will be saying at the meeting:
- Imagine that the regional transport system is a proper public service, like schooling, health, libraries, and museums; it is not run as source of profit for the private operators.
- Imagine that, as in the above examples, it is free at the point of use.
- Imagine that the service is democratically owned and controlled, by local and regional authorities, its employees, and its users. Democratic planning would replace the failed de-regulation and privatisation of the neo-liberal decades.
- Imagine that investment is shifted from such hugely expensive schemes as HS2 towards providing a public service that is extended in scope, accessible to all, frequent and reliable.
- Imagine that the transport system is based on sharing – sharing cars and safe shared spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Imagine that frequent flying and private jets are replaced with a general commitment not to take more than one return flight every two or three years, pending the development of zero carbon planes.
Such changes would go alongside technical transformations such as all-electric road vehicles and trains.
Such changes would be necessary to remove one of the biggest CO2 emitters in the region, its fossil fuel-based transport system.
Such changes would also reduce dirty air pollution, congestion, delays, and accidents.
Such changes would benefit the huge number of people living in poverty who cannot afford, or who can barely afford, a private car and who would then be able to travel for free.
About 100 cities around the world have Fare Free Public Transport, and it has even been piloted in the UK (Herefordshire, Swansea, and Newport). While these schemes vary in terms of operation and outcomes, they do offer a large carrot instead of just sticks to get most private cars off the road.
READ THE CANWM NEWSLETTER AT https://mailchi.mp/574…/climate-emergency-actions-11822201
The WMCA or Transport for West Midlands (T4WM) could easily afford to work alongside its seven local authorities by setting up a feasibility study for introducing FFPT across the region, for buses, local trains, and trams.
The WMCA and theT4WM have their own transport policies –
While these plans do contain interesting ideas, the world-wide heatwaves, droughts, and floods are telling us that our time is very limited, and that more radical action is required.
And sorry, but “Movement for Growth” suggests the old framework of productivism is part of their plans; but we cannot produce ever more goods on a finite planet.
The WMGT forum will be from 6 to 8 – 30pm in Room 1, the Hub, Coventry University, Priory Street, CV1 5FB. You can register to attend in person (maximum attendance has been set at 35) or go online.You can register here.
West Midlands Climate Coalition
The next meeting of the West Midlands Climate Coalition will be on Tuesday 13th September 7pm to 8.30pm.
We will be able to review the preceding evening’s event, review progress on the retrofit campaign, and think about the topic for the next WMGT forum in November (suggestion, another big source of CO2 in the region is from industry and commerce). Other agenda topics could be COP27 and the Tory Party conference.
The meeting Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82950405511?pwd=c05NYnNTZUFEQ3hFYmphb1RDN
Meeting ID: 829 5040 5511. Passcode: 467106
The minutes from WMCC meetings can be viewed here on google drive.
Nine Action Points
These actions were created by WMCC to lobby the West Midlands Combined Authority in support of a zero-carbon region by 2030.
Nine Action Points
RETROFIT BUILDINGS. Domestic insulation and heating programs need to be massively accelerated. This is a rapid way to reduce carbon emissions and save households money on their heating and energy bills. The WMCA should immediately publish and implement a comprehensive plan for the retrofitting of housing in the WMCA constituencies with the highest levels of fuel poverty revealed in a new league table from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, based on government figures.
FARE FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Transport for West Midlands should follow the lead being given by Swansea, Newport, and Herefordshire by setting up free public transport schemes. A feasibility study into the economic, social, and environmental benefits of FFPT for the West Midlands should start work now. The WMCA should bring the region’s buses back into public control, following the example of Greater Manchester, as a step towards FFPT.
END SUPPORT FOR HS2. Apart from the environmental devastation it is causing, HS2 is vastly expensive. The money should be used instead for big investments in local and regional public transport. The current business model of the HS2 project is to increase economic growth and consumerism, however this will contribute to planetary destruction, and is not something we need more of.
DIVEST THE WEST MIDLANDS PENSION FUND FROM FOSSIL FUEL INVESTMENT. Pension funds investing in fossil fuels are contributing directly to uncontrolled global warming and in support of a sustainable future for all should invest instead in green renewables.
END THE INCINERATION OF WASTE. The continuation of waste incineration is an environmental crime. Plans should be made immediately to increase recycling (including food waste) and to transition to ecologically sustainable degradation.
CURB AVIATION. The WMCA should encourage its residents to limit the excessive use of environmentally damaging national and international flights (pending the development of zero carbon planes) to one return flight every two or three years.
TEACH THE CHILDREN. Local authorities within the WMCA area should actively promote proper climate and environmental studies in all schools for all children and young people, appropriate to their age.
PAUSE TRAM DEVELOPMENT. Trams are more accessible than buses and trains for disabled people and prams, but they are also hugely expensive to build and emit a large amount of carbon dioxide from cement and steel in their construction. New growth of this network should be paused, and the money diverted into upgrading the current regional public transport system, including the opening of new routes.
BUILDING A WORKFORCE FOR THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY. The WMCA should use its resources to collaborate with the region’s trade unions, FE colleges, universities, and employers to create and implement a long-term strategy for the creation of green jobs and a just transition for workers in high carbon workplaces as they decline.
You can support these action points in the following ways:
Share the leaflet with your family, friends, and networks. Post the leaflet in suitable public locations. Scan or photograph the leaflet and share it on your social media. WMCC Facebook group & WMCC Facebook page.
Send the leaflet to your local councillor and ask for their comments, letting us know of the response. Send your support for these action points to the West Midlands Combined Authority via their website https://www.wm Hard copies of the leaflet are also available on request.