Environment Research and Action Group
South West Surrey Compass Environment Research and Action Group
At the SWS Compass meeting on 12th May 2018, the Environment Research & Action Group presented on environmental issues and lead a discussion. Further information on what was discussed can be found by clicking here.
Why is caring for the environment important? Why is it a key issue which underlies all other concerns and affects everyone and everything? What can we do as individuals, as members of our local community, as inhabitants of the UK, and as human beings sharing the only known habitable planet in the universe to ensure it remains healthy for us all?
There is only one Earth so we have to look after it. Life is one of a complex interlinked set of systems which interact with the physical planet to produce the atmosphere, oceans and land that we depend on. Our actions have implications for these systems which we need to acknowledge, understand and react to. We discussed how our society is impacting on the environment, and what we can do to improve things.
Environment Research and Action Group Policy Statement
We believe that a sustainable environment is essential for the benefit of our local community, for wider society and for the future of the planet as a whole. Government agencies and Local authorities should set an example and lead a sustainable agenda for the 21st century and beyond.
The following principles should form the basis of a progressive alliance of those committed to a sustainable environment, regardless of party political allegiances:
- Prohibition of any exploration or production of hydrocarbons from the region, on the basis that these fuels contribute to global warming, and investing in them will be detrimental to supporting our commitments to the Paris Agreement.
- All new building to be subjected to an environmental audit which requires the highest standards of insulation and solar energy sourcing.
- Phased withdrawal of all diesel vehicles owned by the council, including buses and taxis, alongside incentives to reduce, and ultimately eliminate the use of all diesel vehicles in major towns and cities of the region.
- Protect tress and green spaces from creeping development. Grow native and bee friendly plants in council parks and gardens.
- Promote cycling and walking with integrated routes to join conurbations and reduce the need for commuting by car, with an emphasis on separating these routes from road traffic.
- Divestment of all council pension funds from fossil fuel companies (6.26% in the case of Surrey- see http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/).
- Further expansion of recycling and better education for good practice, with more transparent information on destinations of recycled materials and the recycling processes involved.
- Innovative promotion of further incentives for companies and individuals to reduce waste and packaging across the region.