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East Suffolk

List of articles added to this site

Articles are posted to this website in the relevant subject area (for example, "News and views" under "Europe", or "A liberal miscellany" under "Liberal Democrat Thinking"). The following list shows the latest articles from all categories:

  • Lucy Nethsingha MEP
    Article: Aug 22, 2019

    Lucy Nethsingha now chair of the EU Legal Affairs Committee

    As reported by Jennifer Rankin in the Guardian(21August), our Lib Dem MEP for the East, Lucy Nethsingha**, is one of a handful of British MEPs voted into a leading role on European parliament committees, which play a significant role in EU lawmaking.

  • Now
    Article: Aug 21, 2019

    Meet the Liberal Democrats in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency -

    An opportunity to engage with the Party, find out more about, who we are are, what we stand for, so why not come and meet us?

    Share your concerns & hopes for your local community and country

    Meet with Jules Ewart - Prospective Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Suffolk Coastal

  • Daniel-Poul ter-960x640. OGL 3 (OGL 3 public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.)
    Article: Aug 18, 2019

    Your MP's - Daniel Poulter Conservative MP for Central Suffolk & North Ipswich

    Like so many of his constituents who out of necessity have more than one job, Dr Poulter MP also has two jobs, holds up a questionable track record on tackling climate change and consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability

  • Plastic waste
    Article: Aug 17, 2019

    Lib Dem run South Lakeland District Council runs a 'Fill Up' free drinking water campaign with local businesses to reduce plastic waste and promote a healthier lifestyle

    Liberal Democrat run South Lakeland District Council is showing how a well run Council can harness the local community to help reduce plastic pollution with it's Fill Up campaign asking businesses to offer free drinking water to encourage people to fill reusable bottles rather than buy a single-use plastic water bottle.

    The initiative aims to cut plastic pollution and improve people's health by increasing access to drinking water, while also saving residents money.

    Participating businesses simply have to display a window sticker, which is provided by the Council, to show members of the public they can fill their water bottle for free.

    Around 40 organisations from across the district are already part of the scheme. One of those businesses is Bandito Burrito in Windermere, owner Ewan Murdock said: "We are trying to do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

    "Not only are we showing our support for Fill Up, but we no longer sell plastic bottles or use food pots or cutlery made of plastic."

    The council say the response to the campaign has been positive, however, the authority is asking for more businesses to support the project.

    SLDC's Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder, Lib dem Councillor Suzie Pye, said: "This council is passionate about the environment. Fill Up is a fantastic way of reducing single-use plastic bottle waste and it saves people money, while also encouraging residents to stay hydrated and healthy when they are out and about in South Lakeland.''

    More information on the campaign can be found at


  • Jo Swinson later to JCpp1
    Article: Aug 16, 2019

    Jo Swinson 's reply to Jeremy Corbyn

    The Liberal Democrats have been working with Labour for some time and we will support a vote of No Confidence. We will continue to campaign for a People's Vote to give the British people the final say on Brexit and we are happy and keen to talk with the Labour leader but any new Prime Minister must command the support of the majority of the House.

  • Jo Swinson new Lib Dem leader
    Article: Aug 15, 2019

    Jo Swinson MP - leader of the liberal democrats

    "I stand ready to work with anyone to stop Boris Johnson and his hard-line Brexit government"

    to read Jo Swinson full speech click here

    In her first main speech since becoming leader Jo Swinson MP stood alongside new Lib Dem MP

    Sarah Wollaston and made it clear that she would work with all parties to stop Brexit including supporting a 'vote of confidence' but any plan for a temporary leader of an 'emergency government' had to command the confidence of the House something she doubted the Opposition Leader would be able to achieve, based upon his record on Brexit.

  • Off portrait of Dr Thérèse CoffeyAttribution 3.0 Unported Chris McAndrew (Attribution 3.0 UnportedChris McAndrew
    Article: Aug 11, 2019

    Your MP's -Thérèse Coffey Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal

    The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Twice stood for the European Parliament, the MP who backed Remain in Referendum, voted against ruling out a no-deal Brexit, 'signs up' to Boris' pledge to leave the EU with NO Deal and gets promoted.

  • * File:Spreader AF.jpg * Created: 20 August 2007 (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication Ryanicus Girraficus)
    Article: Aug 8, 2019

    Rural Crime has hit a seven-year high, costing the UK £50m in 2018

    In its annual study of offences against farmers and rural businesses, the insurer NFU Mutual found rural crime in 2018 was up 12% on the previous year.

    The report showed that Lincolnshire and Essex are among the three UK counties worst affected by rural crime. Essex suffered the most agri-vehicle theft in the country, and Norfolk saw a 99.5% increase in the cost of crime.

  • Jane Dodds
    Article: Aug 2, 2019



    Jane Dodds wins the Welsh by-election for the Lib Dems and REMAIN


    Jane Dodds - Liberal Democrat - 13,826 (43.5%) JANE DODDS M.P.

    Chris Davies - Welsh Conservative - 12,401 (39.0%)

  • Jane Dodds
    Article: Jul 29, 2019

    Lib Dems get Remain Parties support in PM's first by-election test.

    By Jon James

    With a hard right, No Deal Brexit Government about to hit the public with a publicly funded 'Leave' information campaign evoking the war time spirit and aimed at convincing us to get ready to 'fight on the beaches' against the evil that sits across the channel, De Pfeffel Johnson is already out on the stump making promises to marginal seats he probably doesn't intend to keep. One can only hope that his new Chancellor is keeping tabs on his funding promises or the supposed Tory war chest will soon evaporate, let alone the £39bn owing to the EU that he intends to pocket.

  • Jo Swinson - Lib Dem leader
    Article: Jul 26, 2019

    Lib Dems membership surge continues

    Buoyed by the latest polls showing the Party in close second place, continuing to win seats from other parties and with Labour continuing to hemorrhage support we may be beginning to see a real shift in support for a centre ground, liberal values based alternative to the populist, nationalism, lies and false promises of the Brexiteer ministers now decamped in No 10 Downing Street.

  • Boris Johnson
    Article: Jul 24, 2019

    Bullingdon boy handed the keys to wreak havoc on the country's economy

    'Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson" says new Lib Dem Leader Jo Swinson.

    By Jon James

    A country long admired for its governance, stability and sense of fair play and an ability to expose the machinations of mavericks, adventurers and liars has just handed the keys to No 10, to the UK's own modern day Don Quixote, a man who has spent a journalistic lifetime 'tilting at EU windmills'. An individual, so obviously unsuited to the task of Prime Minister that we can only conclude that Brexit fatigue, the national obsession with reality tv shows and government by social media has been embedded into our political system.

  • Jo Swinson
    Article: Jul 22, 2019

    Jo Swinson elected as new Liberal DemocRAt Party Leader.

    Following one of the cleanest, respectful and positive political party leadership elections, Jo Swinson MP was declared the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

    The Scottish MP for East Dunbartonshire and former Business Department minister topped the poll of members in the election to succeed Sir Vince Cable as Party Leader and becomes the party's first women leader.

  • Ella MullinsCommons Attribution 2.0 Generic (Ella MullinsCommons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
    Article: Jul 21, 2019

    Build 100 more affordable homes for rent for local familes in Southwold Ward

    before the next local elections in 2023 - SIGN THE PETITION

    Why is this important?

    Southwold is dying because local people are being priced out of homes by holiday lets. Two thirds of homes are holiday lets. The average house price is 21 times the average wage. We need 100 more affordable homes to rent quickly before our community dies.

    David Beavan, local LIb Dem District Councillor for Southwold said, "Our average age is 65. We want to hear children playing on our greens again. We want a vibrant community that welcomes visitors but is not banished by them. The government still subsidies second home owners who pay no rates. Local homes are developed into five bedroom holiday lets. Cleaners are bussed in. This is social apartheid".

    East Suffolk Council say that we have enough affordable homes, when we hear 40 local people applied for one last week. We need 100 as soon as possible in Southwold Ward which includes Reydon and Walberswick, but definitely before the next Council elections in 2023.
    As seen on Anglia TV on Friday evening.

    To sign the petition: click on the link here:


  • All our yesterdays
    Article: Jul 20, 2019

    50 years ago today:


    50 years later:


    • Nearly 1/2 of the world's population - more than 3 billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day.

    • More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty - less than $1.25 a day.

    • 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty.

    • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty

  • Police Funding graphic
    Article: Jul 19, 2019

    Government has cut funding to police forces, including Suffolk by 6%

    Lib Dem HQ analysis this week, broken down by police force, on Home Office stats' reveal the Government has cut funding to police forces by 6% in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20.:

    Liberal Democrat analysis of new Home Office figures, published this week, has revealed that the Conservative Government cut funding to Suffolk Police Force by 6% in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20.

  • Jo Swinson MP and Ed Davey MP at NW Leadership Hustings
    Article: Jul 18, 2019

    Four days left to vote for our next leader

    July 18, 2019 5:01 PM
    Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

    There's just four days left to cast your ballot in the Liberal Democrat leadership election

    All ballots must be cast by 1pm on Monday 22nd July to count.

    It's quick and easy to vote - all you need are your Unique Voting code - which has been emailed or posted to you - and this website:

  • No to Boris Yes to Europe
    Article: Jul 17, 2019

    Anti-Brexit March for Change protest in London on Saturday

    Anti-Brexit campaigners are taking to the streets of central London this weekend with a simple message - 'no to Boris yes to Europe'.

    The March for Change has been organised by grassroots groups fighting against Brexit. The organisers say they want to send a clear message to the new prime minister, country and world that the people want Brexit to be stopped.

  • All our yesterdays
    Article: Jul 16, 2019




  • Dementia Care
    Article: Jul 14, 2019

    Dementia patients have spent almost £15billion funding their own care since an overhaul was pledged over two years ago

    People with dementia have spent £15bn of their own money on care in the last two years because of government delays in reforming the system, according to the Alzheimer's Society. Theresa May had promised a Green Paper on social care by the summer of 2017, but it has still not appeared.

  • Jo Swinson MP and Ed Davey MP at NW Leadership Hustings
    Article: Jul 5, 2019

    Less than one in ten can name the Liberal Democrat leadership candidates

    According to a recent YouGov poll the vast majority of Lib Dem voters couldn't identify the two Liberal Democrats candidates standing for election as the new party leader.

    The Lib Dems have certainly been getting a significant increase in TV and radio coverage of late even if the partisan press continue to pretend that the Party doesn't exist. Since the Party has been seen hitting 20% and more in the national opinion polls following big advances in the local and European Parliament elections, the national and regional media spotlight may be about to start turning to the next Liberal Democrat leader. Unsurprising the Conservative leadership contest is absorbing all the media oxygen but a the recent YouGov poll says the new Lib Dem leader 'could still have a substantial impact on politics over the coming years.. Despite this, just a tiny fraction of the public can identify the two candidates to be leader'.

  • VEHICLE IDLING CC BY-SA 2.0 (Eli Duke -, CC BY-SA 2.0)
    Article: Jul 3, 2019


    Liberal Democrats secured a victory with the Government confirming they are looking at implementing Lib Dem MP, Wera Hobhouse's bill, which would strengthen local authority powers on idling

    The Environment Minister, and Suffolk Coastal MP, Thérèse Coffey, was asked if the Government would consider implementing the Vehicle Emissions (Idling Penalties) Bill that was presented to the Parliament last week.

  • Deforestation_2074483b.jpg CC-BY-SA-4.0 (Dikshajhingan Deforestation_2074483b.jpg CC-BY-SA-4.0)
    Article: Jul 1, 2019

    10 years ago, hundreds of the world's biggest companies made a promise to end forest destruction by 2020. With only a few months left, they are nowhere near this goal.

    We are living through a climate and wildlife emergency. One million species are at risk of extinction and people all over the world are already feeling the effects of climate crisis - from devastating floods to deadly fires.

  • Caroline Page
    Article: Jun 24, 2019

    Be a Councillor Campaign

    The equal participation of women and men in local politics, as our elected councillors and as our leaders, is an important condition for effective democracy and good governance. The Be a Councillor Campaign is based on the belief that local authorities, and political parties and groups, can do the best for their communities when they truly represent their place. Today, none of the combined authority mayors are female, and overall -, they make up only a fifth of political leaders, and a third of local authority chief executives - despite 76 per cent of employees in the local government workforce being female.

  • Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson [Boris Johnson]
    Article: Jun 18, 2019


    By Jon James

    With little sign that any of the Tory candidates for PM have any more idea of how to resolve the destructive, self inflicted trauma that is Brexit than the retiring incumbent, the public is forced to sit on the sidelines as the tories indulge in their own internecine warfare to choose a new Leader.

  • Chuka Umunna (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (]
    Article: Jun 14, 2019

    Chuka joins the lib dems

    Chuka Umunna, the Streatham MP has formally joined the Liberal Democrats after switching from the Labour Party to form a new political group. His decision is a most welcome one and the Party will be hoping that with a need to continue strengthening and uniting the anti Brexit forces to counter the worst that a new Brexit Government will do under a No Deal PM, Chuka's arrival will encourage other passionate internationalists with Liberal values to follow. The Liberal Democrats will not be too hard on Chukka for his past utterances about the Lib Dems in a Coalition Government as they were shared by some members and ex members and the Party has many current former members of the old parties who left to join the SDP. The current PPC for Streatham Helen Thompson has publicly welcomed Chuka's decision which is a good sign that there will be a positive response locally

  • Ed Davey
    Article: Jun 12, 2019

    the election for the leader of the liberal Democrats party

    Liberal Democrat members, (and there are now over 105,000 since the beginning of May) now have the opportunity to elect a new Leader following the decision by Sir Vince Cable to step down.

    The two nominated candidates Ed Davey and Jo Swinson are engaged in a a series of campaign events and hustings meetings up and down the UK.

  • Official portrait of Norman Lamb
    Article: Jun 10, 2019

    Congratulations Sir Norman Lamb M.P.

    North Norfolk Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Lamb has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours announced on Friday, June 7

    Currently chair of the science and technology select committee, Norman Lamb was the Party's Health Minister under the Coalition Government and championed the cause of mental health and getting parity with physical health, a cause he is "passionate" about.

    Article: Jun 7, 2019


    17,000 have joined the Liberal Democrats since the beginning of may.

    the party has received the backing of THOUSANDS OF NEW voters in local and European elections and THE PARTY is riding high.

    The Party (of REMAIN) will soon be electing a new Leader.

    If you haven't already joined the Liberal Democrats then you have 1 day left until 11.59 TONIGHT (Friday) to ensure that you can exercise your vote in the Party's Leadership elections...

  • OECD AND ATD Fourth World (OECD AND ATD Fourth World)
    Article: Jun 4, 2019

    In 2016-2019, ATD Fourth World, in partnership with Oxford University, conducted a participatory international research project called "The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty". The project took place in six countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, France, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States. People living in poverty, professionals and academics worked together to clarify how we understand poverty and its multi-dimensional aspects.

  • Schools Image ALDC (Image ALDC)
    Article: May 30, 2019



    Schools which remain with their council are more likely to keep a good or outstanding Ofsted rating than those which become an academy, a new report by the Local Government Association reveals.

    The report, published by Angel Solutions and commissioned by the LGA, looks at how primary and secondary schools' Ofsted grades have fared over the past five years, comparing those which remained council-maintained to those that academised. It also found that schools that were rated as requires improvement or inadequate were more likely to become good or outstanding if they remained council-maintained and did not convert to an academy

    By looking at an overall sample of 12,814 schools which remained maintained, and 4,033 schools which academised, compared from February 2014 to February 2019, the report found:

    • 90 per cent (9,400) of schools remaining council-maintained have kept their good or outstanding rating, compared to 81 per cent (2,275) of schools which converted to academies

    • 88 per cent (2,048) of schools requiring improvement or judged inadequate in February 2014 which remained maintained became good/outstanding in 2019, compared with 59 per cent (723) of schools which converted to academies

    • 41 per cent (502) of schools requiring improvement or judged inadequate in February 2014 which converted to academies still had the same rating in February 2019.

    As part of its #CouncilsCan campaign, the LGA is calling for councils to be allowed to intervene and improve all types of school found to be inadequate - regardless of whether it is a maintained school or academy. Under current rules, councils are stopped from helping, even in cases where a failing school cannot find an academy sponsor.

    Maintained schools with inadequate Ofsted judgements, which are considered to be failing, now have to become sponsor-led academies. These are schools taken over by an academy chain, or multi-academy trust (MAT) identified by the Department for Education.

    LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Howard Sykes said:

    "We all aspire to seeing children get an education of the highest quality, whether that is in an academy or a council-maintained school. These findings clearly show that staying under council control delivers better results for a school than those which convert to an academy. "Not only do more schools keep a good or outstanding rating if they remain maintained, but a significantly greater proportion are being turned around from struggling or failing into highly performing and successful schools.

    "While academisation might be the answer in some cases, it is not always the best solution. "Councils have an excellent track record in improving schools, and need to be given the necessary powers to intervene and support schools."

    Source: LGA Lib Dems - May 29, 2019

    View the full report.


    Article: May 29, 2019

    Many thanks to all those who voted for the Liberal Democrats in the local elections and in the European Parliament Elections in East Suffolk


    East Suffolk District Elections

  • Amnesty Knife Bin Suffolk Constabulary (Suffolk Constabulary)
    Article: May 29, 2019


    With the UK registering 100 knife crime fatalities this year, knife crime in Suffolk revealed offences involving blades have gone up 25% in five years. Data published by the Home Office showed the number of offences involving sharp instruments went up from 159 between September 2012 and September 2013, to 198 in the 12 months to September 2018.

  • EU Flag plus LD emblem (LIberal Democrats)
    Article: May 27, 2019

    LIBERAL Democrats ride high in EU vote with 16 MEPs including 2 in the East

    Lib Dems take second place in East Suffolk as Tories and Labour trail in 4th and 5th place

    The Lib Dems were rewarded across the UK for their clear, consistent and unambiguous pro EU, anti Brexit campaign in the Euro elections. With a total of 16 MEPs, the Party topped the poll in London and secured a clear second place in most regions securing its rightful place as the clear leader of REMAIN.

  • Vince Cable twitter page
    Article: May 24, 2019

    Party Leader, Sir Vince to step down on July 23rd.

    Sir Vince with our Felixstowe Branch last year

    In his message to party members today after the polls for the EU Parliamentary elections closed, Vince Cable announced that he would be stepping down as Party Leader in July.

    Thanking the party volunteers and supporters for their work over two elections he said, "Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit. When the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well. Our long and proud tradition of success in local government was revived this month by the best local election results in our party's history. In the last two years, we have gained 780 more council seats and 15 new councils. Membership is at record levels with a strengthening base of supporters amongst students and young people.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: May 22, 2019

    Tonight, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable addressed activists on the eve of poll in Cambridge.

    He was expected to say:

    Tomorrow Remainers have the chance to send a message to the Tories and Labour who have so bitterly let the country down over the past three years. Theresa May's legacy will be three years of leaderless squabbling and wasted opportunities.

    Every Liberal Democrat elected tomorrow will be a strong voice for a People's Vote and remaining in the EU.

    We have seen members of other parties pledge to support the Liberal Democrats because of our clear message that the people should have the final say. We are the strongest remain party and tomorrow we can deliver.

    We are proud to say that every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit. Liberal Democrats activists have knocked on over 800,000 doors through this campaign, and tomorrow we will be out again working hard from dawn to dusk to deliver the result this country needs.

    Tomorrow Remainers can punish the Conservatives and Labour for letting them down and strike a hammer blow to the heart of Brexit.

    Winning in th East of England.

    Article: May 20, 2019

    Why become a supporter?

    The Liberal Democrats are changing.

    Politics is utterly broken right now. Labour and the Conservatives are being dragged to the ideological extremes, leaving millions feeling powerless and frustrated with the direction our country is taking.

    That needs to change. Liberal Democrats will be that force of change.

  • LIBDEMS.ORG (Lib Dems .org)
    Article: May 20, 2019


    THURSDAY 23RD MAY 2019


    Thursday is polling day, and we have a great chance of gaining the most seats of any Remain party. To win those seats we need to make sure that we get out our voters.


    Article: May 18, 2019

    The Trussell Trust network of foodbanks provided a record 1.6 million food parcels to people in crisis over the past year. More than half a million of these went to children.

    According to the Trust the scale of hunger in the UK is unprecedented with the number of food parcels provided by our network soaring by 73% in the last five years. One of the main providers of foodbanks, the Trussell Trust are not the only source of emergency food issued by charitable groups therefore these figures do not represent the full scale of the problem in the UK.

  • Article: May 5, 2019

    On Monday 6 May(Bank holiday Monday) we launch our "Hello Suffolk!" campaign. Please join Jules Ewart and other campaigners at one of our local Pop-Up events organised specifically for YOU:

    • Woodbridge, 11am - outside Costa Coffee, Thoroughfare
    • Ipswich, 1pm by the '?' Art Work at Suffolk Uni on the Waterfront
    • Needham Market, 3pm - Station Yard, Needham Market
    • Halesworth and Southwold, 5pm - The Plough Inn, London Road, Wangford, Beccles NR34 8AZ
    • Lowestoft, 7pm - Norman Warrior Pub (Lib Dem member owned), Fir Lane, Lowestoft NR32 2RB

    The gatherings will last for around 40 mins to an hour. Meet candidates and find out more about the Suffolk European election campaign and how you can take part.

    Please make the effort to join us. Be assured the project is not overwhelming but it does require our local resources to carry it out. For more details please call me on 07770 666604 or reply to this email.

    Alternatively call your local party chair or the Suffolk Chair, John Shreeve on 07483 322821.

    We also encourage as many members as possible to take part in the Action Weekends (link) being hosted by Cambridge and Norwich on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

    Kindest wishes,

    Jules Ewart 
European Election Candidate for Eastern Region and PPC for Suffolk Coastal

    M. 07770 666604 

  • Ballot box
    Article: May 4, 2019

    RESULTS.. RESULTS.. RESULTS.. RESULTS.... from Thursday's Local Elections - East Suffolk District Council

    Headline: Congratulations to our Lib Dem District Councillors in Southwold (David Beavan), Martlesham & Purdis Farm (Edward Thompson) and Woodbridge (Kay Yule)!

    East Suffolk Turnout was 34.4% overall, with the highest ward 56.2% and the lowest 22.4%

  • Ballot Box
    Article: May 1, 2019





    IS ON


  • EU campaign 2019
    Article: Apr 26, 2019



    THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS EASTERN REGION LIST FOR THE EU ELECTIONSEastern Region European election campaign team

    1 Barbara Gibson
    2 Lucy Nethsingha
    3 Fionna Tod
    4 Stephen Robinson
    5 Sandy Walkington
    6 Marie Goldman
    7 Julia Ewart

  • Greta Thunberg in 2018 CC BY-SA 4.0 (Jan Ainali CC BY-SA 4.0 OCT 18)
    Article: Apr 24, 2019

    I know many of you don't want to listen to us - you say we are just children... You don't listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before.

    Here is the full text of Greta Thunberg's speech to Parliament yeterday, via the Guardian:

    My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.

    I know many of you don't want to listen to us - you say we are just children. But we're only repeating the message of the united climate science.

    Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

    In the year 2030 I will be 26 years old. My little sister Beata will be 23. Just like many of your own children or grandchildren.

    That is a great age, we have been told. When you have all of your life ahead of you. But I am not so sure it will be that great for us.

    I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to.

    People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing.

    Now we probably don't even have a future anymore.

    Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once.

    You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it's too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard.

    Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?

    Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it.

    That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

    And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.

    Furthermore, these calculations do not include unforeseen tipping points and feeback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas escaping from rapidly thawing arctic permafrost.

    Nor do these scientific calculations include already locked-in warming hidden by toxic air pollution. Nor the aspect of equity - or climate justice - clearly stated throughout the Paris Agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.

    We must also bear in mind that these are just calculations. Estimations. That means that these "points of no return" may occur a bit sooner or later than 2030. No one can know for sure.

    We can, however, be certain that they will occur approximately in these timeframes, because these calculations are not opinions or wild guesses.

    These projections are backed up by scientific facts, concluded by all nations through the IPCC. Nearly every single major national scientific body around the world unreservedly supports the work and findings of the IPCC.

    Did you hear what I just said? Is my English OK? Is the microphone on? Because I'm beginning to wonder.

    During the last six months I have travelled around Europe for hundreds of hours in trains, electric cars and buses, repeating these life-changing words over and over again.

    But no one seems to be talking about it, and nothing has changed. In fact, the emissions are still rising.

    When I have been travelling around to speak in different countries, I am always offered help to write about the specific climate policies in specific countries. But that is not really necessary. Because the basic problem is the same everywhere. And the basic problem is that basically nothing is being done to halt - or even slow - climate and ecological breakdown, despite all the beautiful words and promises.

    The UK is, however, very special. Not only for its mind-blowing historical carbon debt, but also for its current, very creative, carbon accounting.

    Since 1990 the UK has achieved a 37% reduction of its territorial CO2 emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project.

    And that does sound very impressive. But these numbers do not include emissions from aviation, shipping and those associated with imports and exports. If these numbers are included the reduction is around 10% since 1990 - or an an average of 0.4% a year, according to Tyndall Manchester.

    And the main reason for this reduction is not a consequence of climate policies, but rather a 2001 EU directive on air quality that essentially forced the UK to close down its very old and extremely dirty coal power plants and replace them with less dirty gas power stations. And switching from one disastrous energy source to a slightly less disastrous one will of course result in a lowering of emissions.

    But perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to "lower" our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5-2C of warming. The "lowering of emissions" is of course necessary but it is only the beginning of a fast process that must lead to a stop within a couple of decades, or less. And by "stop" I mean net zero - and then quickly on to negative figures. That rules out most of today's politics.

    The fact that we are speaking of "lowering" instead of "stopping" emissions is perhaps the greatest force behind the continuing business as usual.

    The UK's active current support of new exploitation of fossil fuels - for example, the UK shale gas fracking industry, the expansion of its North Sea oil and gas fields, the expansion of airports as well as the planning permission for a brand new coal mine - is beyond absurd.

    This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.

    People always tell me and the other millions of school strikers that we should be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished. But the only thing that we need to look at is the emission curve. And I'm sorry, but it's still rising. That curve is the only thing we should look at.

    Every time we make a decision we should ask ourselves; how will this decision affect that curve? We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases. We should no longer only ask: "have we got enough money to go through with this?" but also: "have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?" That should and must become the centre of our new currency.

    Many people say that we don't have any solutions to the climate crisis. And they are right. Because how could we?

    How do you "solve" the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced? How do you "solve" a war? How do you "solve" going to the moon for the first time? How do you "solve" inventing new inventions?

    The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced. The easiest because we know what we must do. We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hardest because our current economics are still totally dependent on burning fossil fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in order to create everlasting economic growth.

    "So, exactly how do we solve that?" you ask us - the schoolchildren striking for the climate.

    And we say: "No one knows for sure. But we have to stop burning fossil fuels and restore nature and many other things that we may not have quite figured out yet."

    Then you say: "That's not an answer!"

    So we say: "We have to start treating the crisis like a crisis - and act even if we don't have all the solutions."

    "That's still not an answer," you say.

    Then we start talking about circular economy and rewilding nature and the need for a just transition. Then you don't understand what we are talking about.

    We say that all those solutions needed are not known to anyone and therefore we must unite behind the science and find them together along the way.

    But you do not listen to that. Because those answers are for solving a crisis that most of you don't even fully understand. Or don't want to understand.

    You don't listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don't exist anymore. Because you did not act in time.

    Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.

    Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfil something, we can do anything. And I'm sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.

    We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created. We have not taken to the streets for you to take selfies with us, and tell us that you really admire what we do.

    We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.

    I hope my microphone was on. I hope you could all hear me.


    Source: Lib Dem Voice from Guardian 23/4/2019

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