Steve Davis shares this news on behalf of the Don’t Drill The Wight campaign. Ed
Don’t Drill The Wight is writing to all the declared candidates for the upcoming May Isle of Wight council elections.
The communication contrasts the urgent need to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint with the commercial desire to tap into new sources of oil via drilling operations at a greenfield site west of Arreton.
A crucial opportunity for a change of mindset
The elections this May provide a crucial opportunity for a change of mindset and priorities within our local government.
The Island’s environment is undoubtedly our key asset. Simultaneously attractive and fragile, it drives our tourist economy and supports our agriculture. It is vulnerable to the ravages of extreme weather, flooding, coastal erosion and unstable geology, giving rise to events that we encounter on an almost daily basis.
Net zero carbon goals by 2030
There is much to do, time is short and decisions taken in the next four years will be crucial in setting the pace of change and success or failure of meeting the Island’s net zero carbon goals by 2030.
The UK Committee on Climate Change recently reported that “Despite well-intentioned ambition the UK has fallen behind in progress to tackle and prepare for climate change”.
Think globally, but act locally
Here on the Island we have to think globally, but act locally. We must recognise the global threat and work effectively to deliver our share of solution.
Climate Change considerations must be at the heart of every department, every policy, every decision and every action that the council takes. Anything less than total focus on this issue would be an abdication of responsibility.
This must never be treated as a box ticking exercise.
Carney: Cannot self-isolate from climate issue
Mark Carney – former head of the Bank of England now UN Envoy for Climate Change and Finance talking earlier this year:
“One of the biggest issues is you cannot self-isolate from climate.
“That is not an option. We cannot retreat in and wait out climate change, it will just get worse.”
Bevan: There is only one main thing – the climate emergency
In a speech earlier this year the head of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan made these stark points:
“There is only one main thing – the climate emergency. It is the main thing because it affects everything else, more than anything else.
“The climate emergency is the unseen pandemic, because left unchecked it will kill more people, and do much more harm, than Covid-19.
“That is why our thinking needs to change faster than the climate. And why our response needs to match the scale of the challenge.”
Reject plans for oil drilling
Number one on the Island’s environmental action list has to be to reject the application to drill for new sources of oil in our dwindling countryside.
We urge all candidates to engage with this topic and to recognise the strength of opposition from all sections of the Island community. There are many valid reasons to reject the proposal, these are highlighted in the letter to candidates.
Sustainable green businesses
There are many areas in which the Island could really shine in developing sustainable green businesses, this has to be the way forward.
We call on all those hoping to be our elected representatives to take this issue seriously and pledge to work tirelessly for a better Island environment.