A paraphrased old proverb, ’From small acorns, forests might grow’, seems appropriate for an initiative taking place in the local government district of Wealden in East Sussex. After all, its very name comes from the “Weald” – which was once an unbroken forest occupying much of the area. And it is the younger generation that is calling for action, in this case, on climate change.
The following information is from an article published in the Sussex Express which reports that yesterday, July 12th 2019, a group of teenagers launched a petition for the local district council to acknowledge and declare a climate and ecological emergency. They used a local supermarket’s car park (which was flooded during the 2000 floods) to speak to members of the public. And in the coming weeks, the group will be seeking signatures in towns and villages across Wealden district and asking shops to have the petitions at their tills.
The group are seeking the support of people who work, live or study in the area to demand radical action immediately and to become fossil fuel free within ten years.
The petition asks that Wealden District Council undertakes to:
• Acknowledge and declare a climate and ecological emergency.
• Pledge to make Wealden District Council carbon neutral by 2030.
• Call on East Sussex County Council and the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible.
• Call on East Sussex County Council and the UK Government and governments internationally to determine and implement best practice methods to limit global heating to 1.5 deg C.
• Convene a Citizen’s Assembly to advise on potential approaches and solutions based on independent scientific evidence.
Wealdon is a relatively small district, with a population of about 160,000, but, just as acorns may grow into a forest, let us hope that this young persons’ initiative keeps growing and takes over more and more of the UK and beyond.