The XR Lambeth politics group have put in an extraordinary amount of work over the past few months. The vast majority has been focussed on the council’s corporate decarbonisation plans and the Lambeth citizens assembly and this week they’ve been forced into stepping up their pressure after a broken promise and weeks of silence from the council.
Since their inception, the team have quickly positioned themselves as a well organised and well informed rebel pressure group and has grown to include academics and citizens assembly experts. This has enabled them to thoroughly critique the corporate decarbonisation plan while keeping an eye on the council’s handling of their promise to hold a citizens assembly in Lambeth and finally, crucially, to plan how to hold them to account on both fronts.
In July they met with councillor Claire Holland and discussed in person their demands and intentions. It seemed to be a positive step forward and a follow up meeting was promised for the last week of August. Now, in the second week of September, no follow up meeting has been scheduled, no further contact has been had.
So, it was decided that it’s time for escalation and another letter has been sent. It’s measured and respectful but it gives a deadline for a response – next Wednesday, September 18th. We’ll keep you up to date on this blog of how things unfold and what the next steps will be.
Here’s the letter in full:
Dear Cllr Claire Holland,
Thank you for meeting with us in July.
We appreciate the cooperative spirit in which the meeting was conducted. With almost 1,000 declared rebels across the borough, Extinction Rebellion Lambeth understands the unprecedented nature of the demands placed on the council by the climate and ecological crisis, and we will do what we can to assist the council in rising to this existential threat. At the same time we reiterate that whatever actions are now taken to decarbonise and halt biodiversity loss, they most likely come too late to stop many of the worst effects of the climate and ecological crisis. Every day lost to inaction deepens humanity’s peril.
To summarise the key points from the meeting, Extinction Rebellion Lambeth:
– Welcomes the council’s recognition that further development of its decarbonisation plans is needed, including the citizens’ assembly, in order to correspond with the gravity of the emergency.
– Welcomes a further meeting at which the council, Extinction Rebellion Lambeth, and experts on decarbonisation and citizens’ assemblies will discuss the best way forward.
We had proposed that this next meeting be held in the week of August 26th-30th. We are now approaching mid September, and have had no response from our attempts at communication. We had hoped that our meeting in July would be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue as the council’s plans unfold.
We, again, include below the council’s corporate carbon reduction plan, with analysis from leading academics in environmental policy. We encourage the council to respond to any and all comments on this document, so that obstacles to decarbonising and halting biodiversity loss in Lambeth can be fully known in advance of our next meeting. We absolutely do not expect or wish for the council to hurriedly incorporate the comments in this document into the council’s plans – we offer them as a starting point for dialogue, to build upon at our next meeting.
The latest IPCC report states that global emissions must peak by 2020 in order to keep temperature rise below 1.5C. With the absconding of responsibility by national governments, it now falls to local areas like Lambeth to lead the way. Every generation, both present and future, is counting on our actions in the next few months aligning with climate and ecological science – not short-term expedience.
We ask that you respond substantially to this letter on behalf of the borough’s Administration no later than Noon on Wednesday September 18th, so that we can be assured that the Council remains committed both to the Citizens’ Assembly process; and to ongoing dialogue with Extinction Rebellion Lambeth.
Love and rage,
Extinction Rebellion Lambeth