Planners – White LED Blue Light and its effect on Humans and Wildlife Habitat


Light affects our health and well-being in many ways. White LED’s with blue-rich spectra are being rolled out over the country at an alarming pace, often without proper health or environmental impact assessments. These white LED’s are detrimental to human and wildlife circadian rhythms as well as the view of our night sky. 1,2,3 , Urgent action is needed to ensure installation of LED lights use a warm-white Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) ideally 2700K for the benefit of Public Health, Ecology, Road Safety, and Sky Glow.


“Lighting planners and policymakers in local government nowadays need to be very careful in choosing the light class as low as possible, in order to avoid unnecessary over sizing, in using Constant Light Output for luminaires, avoiding cold temperature of LEDs and, above all, seizing the importance of using lighting control systems. The good thing about LEDs is that you can dim and switch on/off easily, and this raises the importance of sensors.”~#Alan2016

There are currently very few solutions that successfully combine an understanding of the physiological effects of light with efficiency and aesthetics. Recently, a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations have provided interesting publications which should be taken into consideration to help ensure benign, safe, and pleasant lighting in our outdoor environment. 4,5,6

The American Planning Association (APA) recommends outdoor LED lighting exclude wavelengths below 500 nanometers. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recommends a CCT of maximum 3000K to minimise sky glow and the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines recommending that blue-rich light is reduced as far as possible in order to protect Public Health.

The American Planning Association (APA) recommends outdoor LED lighting exclude wavelengths below 500 nanometers. 5 The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recommends a CCT of maximum 3000K to minimise sky glow and the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines recommending that blue-rich light is reduced as far as possible in order to protect Public Health. 7,8,9,10 In the UK, Public Health England are recommending that councils use a warm colour temperature for street lights to miminise glare and discomfort. 4 Unfortunately, street lighting is currently exempt from the UK nuisance regulations which limit the effects of light and noise on people. Due to a lack of clear guidelines from Central Government, notably the Department for Transport, councils often opt for blue-rich white LED street lights, thus increasing light pollution.

An example may be taken from the situation on the Isle of Wight, where high CCT LED outdoor lighting has been installed, and there was little or no public consultation nor any trials prior to implementation. 11 Reading Borough Council is currently planning to install streetlights with a CCT of 4000K, which is above the recommended level of 2700K, despite awareness of Public Health England having advised otherwise. 12 In contrast, best practice of lighting implementation can be found in Cardiff and Westminster Council. In 2014, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) sent out a survey which collected responses from over 80 local authorities. CPRE has published a document which provides 9 key recommendations based on this evidence and other evidence directly collected by CPRE. 6

The scientific understanding on the visual and non-visual effects of light forms a strong basis of the recommendations to minimise glare and to minimise spectral intensity below 500nm from artificial night time light.1,2,3,13,14,15,16

In 2014, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) sent out a survey which collected responses from over 80 local authorities. CPRE has published a document which provides key recommendations based on this evidence and other evidence directly collected by CPRE:

“It should be clear to planners that outdoor lighting has a multitude of often detrimental effects on the built and natural environments as well as on our health. If existing standards are not adjusted to account for the spectral characteristics of the LED lighting being created and promoted by the lighting industry today, we could, ironically, be faced with higher levels of light pollution, glare, and overlighting…The choice is clear: we can use responsible standards to guide lighting design, or we can continue to allow uncontrolled lighting to degrade our quality of life and negatively impact human health and ecology. Planners have important roles to play in making the former scenario a reality in their communities.” – Bob Parks, APA 5

“Local authorities should give careful consideration to the type of LED lighting they use and consider the potential impacts that higher temperature blue rich lighting has on ecology and on human health… New street lighting should be tested ‘in situ’ before a lighting scheme is rolled out across a wider area to ensure that it is the minimum required for the task and does not cause a nuisance to residents.” – Emma Marington, CPRE 6

The scientific understanding on the visual and non-visual effects of light forms a strong basis of the recommendations to minimise glare and to minimise spectral intensity below 500nm from artificial night time light.

“A National Policy to curb blue-rich light pollution is urgently required”~


– Ms Tanja Rebel and Mr Enrico Petrucco, Reading UK


All references have been provided as free, full access, internet-accessible sources wherever possible.

  4. Public Health England,
  5. APA,
  6. CPRE,
  7. IDA,
  8. IDA guide,
  9. AMA,
  10. AMA statement,

Regional Government of Andalusia [PDF]


Additional Internet Links and Public Opinion:!id=iPad%20Pro/6500K-iPad%20Pro<<

Prague to host the United Nations’ European Habitat Conference #habitat3


Climate Change Centre Reading, is honored to participate at the UN regional meeting European Habitat Conference as a climate advocate for natural weather shelter / protection of #urbanthinkers. The conference will take place in the Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic between March 16 to 18, 2016

Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will involve a wide range of participants, that will debate regional priorities for the New Urban Agenda, and policy recommendations in the form of a final regional participants’ declaration. The “European Habitat”, is an international regional conference organised within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations, bringing together 56 member countries from Europe, the Balkans, North America and a part of Asia. The event is an official part of preparations for the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development “Habitat III”. Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2014, this conference should be held in Ecuador in October 2016. The event is being prepared by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). UNO regional conferences are organised by individual regional economic commissions – and it is UNECE that covers the 56 above mentioned member countries (UNECE Member States).

In this regard, “European Habitat” will gather recommendations reflecting the consensus reached at the regional level on sustainable housing and other topics from the spectrum of a proposed New #UrbanAgenda.

Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable “Housing in Liveable Cities”.

In the process towards a New Urban Agenda, Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will discuss how to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, with due attention to reducing the impact of the housing sector on the environment. Final declaration from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process. Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable Housing in Liveable Cities.

The official outcome of the European Habitat conference will be the Prague Declaration whose draft was discussed in December 2015 at the plenary session of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, the UNECE executive body for housing and urban development. In October 2014, the Committee discussed and adopted the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing, which was then approved by UNECE’s Plenary in April 2015 as the official contribution of the relevant region to the Habitat III conference. The Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing is an essential strategic document which the Prague Declaration develops further. The European Habitat is one of the first UN implementing conferences reflecting the goals of UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

Final “Prague Declaration” from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process.

The #UN European Habitat Conference, is part of the roadmap to #Habitat3 in QUITO – OCTOBER 2016.

#TheWorldWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #Futureofplaces #Placemaking #SDG13 #SDGs #FutureofPlaces #COP21 #COP22 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction #OpenSpace


Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly, the city of Quito, Ecuador, will host the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (the “Habitat III conference”) from 17 to 20 October, 2016. These summits take place every twenty years; the first one was organised in June 1976 in Vancouver, Canada, the second summit “Habitat II” took place in June 1996 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The official outcome of the Habitat III summit will be the adoption of the discussed document (New Urban Agenda), responding to development in urban areas, with respect to the ever increasing share of the world’s population living in towns and cities (by 2050 the share will be 70%).

Preparations for the Habitat III summit are carried out according to the procedure approved by UN General Assembly; the process is managed by the Steering Committee of Habitat III.

(UN–Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976. UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

Swedish New #Sustainability Act


The Swedish government wants to introduce a law that primarily affects 2,000 major Swedish companies to implement a sustainability report. If it goes through it shall enter into force on 1 July 2016. The Act is based on an EU directive in September 2014.

Many believe that the current voluntary sustainability reports deemed to be superficial reports designed to keep the company’s stakeholders in a good mood for sustainability. Some representatives believe that the new law can serve as a decision-making model and thus an effective management tool.

What we know about the law are among others companies to explain how they work with a range of sustainability issues. Current areas to be considered are environmental issues, social issues, issues regarding employment such as work environment, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery.

Description of the diversity policy apply to the company’s board. The goal of the policy and how the policy has been applied and the result of the policy’s implementation. If the company does not apply any diversity policy, the reasons for it noted. Applies only company in the last 2 years, met more than one of the conditions for “big business”.

This bill defines “large companies” of companies that meet at least two of the following conditions. The average number of employees in the company amounts to more than 250 pieces. Total assets will amount to more than 175 million (20 million) or net sales amounted to more than 350 million (40 million euros).

Enterprises of “public interest” is likely to include listed companies, insurance companies and credit institutions Even companies with “social-bearing activity” can be covered and can be comprised of electric utility or other activities in infrastructure and in health care.

Advantages of a sustainability may be that the company has an in-depth dialogue with all stakeholders and understanding of the challenges. Good survey of sustainability activities and the risks and opportunities. More benefits are to involve management in sustainability efforts.

Auditor should verify that the non-financial report has been submitted. No claim today that the report must be certified.

Last but not least, your brand is affected positively by sustainable business. Maybe we dare say that a sustainable business gives your business even more good years on the market.


Invitation Boroughs of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire

Nordic_declarationInvitation to BOBShire’s Capitals‘ Declaration on #ClimateChange 2017

Venue and programme for the workshop need to be set,
Pre-register interest here, BOBShire @ CCCRdg .org .uk

Join the wave of change. Sign the Appel de Paris here,

Project ideas emerged from breakout groups for each of the following #RE100 challenges:


  • How to include quality of life (the social dimension) in climate-oriented city solutions
  • How to create incentives for people to choose to be ”climate smart” in their everyday choices
  • How to create city climate targets, measure progress and engage more actors
  • How to remove barriers that enable cities to implement more (and better) testbeds

Check back for more information

/Climate Change Centre Reading



For immediate Release

For immediate Release has launched a fit for purpose replacement text for #COP21 #Paris2015 Urgent International Draft







Logo info CCCRdg

A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet a force forward for #climateaction

Will the president of the European Union ban private cars in the urban environment?
Many people and community groups in transition are positive to this and want to ban private cars in city centres, so the streets will be safer and there will be less damaging pollution.

If all the private cars disappear, there are big plans for how all the space currently taken up by cars can be used for something better with the aim of making much needed urban behavioural change happen.

How do we allocate and transform public street space in cities and towns into public spaces?
2016 is the time for a more radical approach to end fossil fuels. Our aim is to ban private cars from town/city centres and reallocate road space to active travel such as walking and cycling to reduce congestion and address the damaging health impacts of air pollution, inactivity and obesity. Also, if all private cars were banned 12 days a year would be equal to 12 out of 365 days decrease in world private vehicle gas, petrol and diesel consumption ~ 3%!

The new car free movement
Many of us grew up cycling in the countryside when there were very few cars on the road and have never owned a car. We saw cars as the future, more people = more cars (less air quality), in a limited space, how is this going to work?

Each new road erases the natural world and we believe we have a duty to respect our natural environment. We have not always been sensitive to the damage car culture has on society and our environment. We do not accept that people are killed from air pollution; road casualties, inactivity and obesity are the price we have to pay or collateral damage.

There is a need to establish a platform of decision makers who acknowledge we have all the tools to achieve, implement and conduct. We have support from businesses, even corporations can cope with one CFD per month.

If we can agree to one year of monthly car-free event then we can also tackle the need for radical behaviour change.

Public health reasons to ban private cars in city centres
Great work has been done with Ken Livingstone’s congestion charge initiative in London but over time it clearly has not worked. 2016 is the time for a more radical approach.

Road charging has some benefits but if you raise the charge to the eye watering amounts required to clear traffic, you will end up with just the wealthy able to drive cars in cities. This is already statistically the case and we believe not good for social cohesion. The next stage is to ban private cars in city centres and free up public street space for walking and cycling, the great equalisers.

Ban of cars in all of city centres or just parts of the city?
E.g. London – The 2011 census marked a tipping point in car ownership in Central London. The majority of households for instance in Westminster (63%) The City (69%) Islington (65%) do not own a car.

Car owning households in Central London were now the minority. Finally there was a political opportunity to make the case for a car free London in zones 1 & 2. The picture is different in the outer boroughs where public transport is not as concentrated and journey distance to the centre is longer. Here car ownership is still in the majority.

The project Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet does not advocate the banning of public transport and commercial vehicles as they are essential to running the new economy and maintaining the city services. However we do want these modes rationalised, reduced in number and upgraded to the cleanest models available. Costs and availability of licenses would be based on lowest pollution and environmental footprint and whether the license was deemed to be necessary. All vehicles would have to be diesel free and with low emissions. All paved tarmac and stone surfaces would be examined with a view to increasing the green areas and thus air conditioning/micro climate control.

Owning a private car however is not a necessity and private electric cars and scooters don’t address the underlying problems of congestion, road casualties, inactivity and obesity. Clean tech cars may pollute less (silent oil spills!) in the direct environment but the electric grid is only 19% renewables and still polluting elsewhere whether coal and gas emissions or nuclear waste.

E waste from Electric vehicle batteries en masse would present a new challenge for toxic waste and the batteries are very expensive to recycle.

A successful car-free day project is going to study fossil fuels alternatives to the cars that already have private owners
Unfortunately diesel will have to be crushed, a very bad mistake and all who bought into or promoted the switch to diesel will have learnt a difficult lesson, unless diesel cars can be recycled into bikes?

Cleaner models will have some resale value. Perhaps possible to incentivise people to ditch their diesel immediately and join an electric car club or receive a bike.

It is also important to make active travel and public transport as accessible and inclusive as possible for people with disabilities and older people. Active travel benefits a wide range of people; customised cycling bikes promoted by, for instance, Wheels for Wellbeing give a variety of options for many people with disabilities, including hand cycling and assisted.

Being socially inclusive creates a society that is more cohesive.

FIGURES AND KEY FACTS The public space usage of all the empty roads and empty parking space is our common realm and will benefit the general public
Making space on the roads for a quality, safe, inclusive cycling experience is paramount. Whether that is protected lanes, filtered permeable or active travel corridors (whole roads for bikes) is down to what works best in each location.

It also occurred to us that freeing up vast amounts of space used for parking private cars (6.8 million parking spaces in London use up 78.5 km sq, based on minimum parking space) could unlock car parks as brownfield sites for key worker housing, at reasonable rents, linked to their jobs in the vicinity (linked to commuting). A good idea would also be to plant more trees on previously car lined streets.

KEY DRIVERS FOR ACTION Time frame for getting rid of private cars off the roads in city centres

Hopefully we could move fast to ban private diesel in Central London, one years notice; 9500 deaths per year requires a proportionate response.

  • 2 years to ban private diesel in the outer boroughs and commercial diesel in Central London
  • 3 years to ban commercial diesel in the outer boroughs and all private cars from Central London

How to implement a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide? Logistically this is radical change. The city would not be able to build cycling protected lanes on main roads fast enough, but road closures of rat runs as alternative car free cycle routes could be implemented within the time frame and space saved would allow local agriculture to grow urban farming.

How to get around in your city, London
If you are not a car owner you mostly walk in London, with the odd bus and tube for longer journeys. Occasionally you may cycle using a Boris bike or on a friend’s tandem, but as part of the majority that feels very uncomfortable cycling in London with congested streets, mixing with large HGVs and buses and very poor cycling infrastructure.

People would love to cycle more, yet Londoners  live in very small flats so are on the lookout for somewhere practical to park and ride, maybe a folding bike or with a basket, or even a cargo bike combined with safe parking!

Trains are the way forward for longer internal journeys in the UK and we would like to see more investment, more incentives and ultimately prefer railways to be nationalised for the good of the nation rather than for profit. Londoners travel by train mostly out of London. Bike provision on trains is an issue and one that needs addressing.

Inhabitants of London occasionally catch a lift or use taxis where there is little or no public transport provision. There is general sympathy with the ideal that public transport should be a basic human right, but it is difficult in very rural areas. Sharing taxis might provide a more flexible option than buses. The idea of connecting urban areas with dedicated cycle lanes like the proposed HS2 for bikes is very likable.

What should happen to cars outside London?
Outside London we believe the banning of private cars in city centres and banning diesel are important for the health of the urban environment. Prioritising demotorisation and active travel is the way forward for the 21st century.

Nearly half of commuters in the UK live less than 5 miles from their work, an easy distance to cycle. These journeys must be made safe and inclusive to encourage as many people as possible to choose cycling as the healthy option. In the London outer boroughs, 66% of journeys under a mile are made by car.

We are doing something very wrong if it is easier/ more comfortable/cheaper for someone to take the car rather than cycle or walk under one mile.

Cars should never work out cheaper than public transport so taxing car use through fuel or road usage or road tax are all options and ploughing that back into public transport and active travel infrastructure. Residents parking permits need to be at least £1,000 per year (Southampton Central charges) to represent their cost to the public highway.

On long term private cars could potentially be banned everywhere in the UK
Currently most people are living in urban environments, but for those who live in rural areas it is far more difficult to ban private cars. Sharing taxis may provide a more flexible option than bus routes.

There may be long term solutions that can’t be conceived of yet, but if we do maintain some presence of private cars it needs to be done with respect for other road users and we believe presumed liability enshrined in UK law would be the most efficient way of ensuring that.

PLATFORMS AND PROJECTS A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet is part of a wider global movement to go car free in city centres, this will this impact on climate change, direct and indirect
Fantastic global networks of Climate Action, Urban Thinkers, City Planners, Global bikers, Changemakers, Youth forums, Transport Think Thanks etc. 50+ Nations are developing car-free districts in urban areas.
Yes there is a worldwide movement to go car free in Cities that includes politicians and grass roots campaigners, From Al Gore to Richard Branson and even perhaps more unexpectedly Jeremy Clarkson who said ‘Get rid of your car, you don’t need it’ in a recent Sunday Times article. We have the connections to bridge the project and collect 2 million signatures together with organisational support.

This global city trends needs to be addressed with planetary coordination and best way force forward is to bridge incentive for behaviour change. We propose implementing a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide;

Highlighting the third Wednesday of every month through the year as Planet´s Monthly Car-Free Work-Days, 20/5, 17/6, 15/7 etc.

HELP sign the petition here:


Transport and in particular private cars are one of the fastest growing contributors to CO2 emissions. Some predict that 1 billion cars today will rise to 2 billion by 2020. It is crucial and pressing that we curb this rise in car use as well as addressing other contributing factors. Cycling and walking are vital to transforming not just our cities but also our planet.

/Climate Change Centre reading (CCCRdg) supports R V Readhead, Goldsmiths College, U. of London 1996-98 Wants To Be Mayor of London And Ban Private Cars


More information

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free –

Paris Will Dramatically Reduce Car Traffic To Fight Air Pollution Emergency –


A Common Approach for developing SDG integrated indicators –

Study on car-free day


Sharing and mixed use of a human caused economy – where we share as much as possible, from our whole infrastructure to jobs, this happens in the Anthropocene room between public space and cyberspace.

Togethernessship – All about inspiration and agreement, being truly inclusive and Safeguarding the future. The complex nature of our environment makes it hard to focus on preventing GreenHouse Gases, which are directly related to global warming. The downside of the problem is that everything is interlinked and needs to be backtracked, but we have the time scale which is rapidly shrinking, so an agreement at #COP21 in Paris, in December is probably a must.


Reading, United Kingdom, August 24, 2015:

Climate Change Motion to the six Berkshire authorities

BerksCAN – Time to Act
Climate Change Motion to Berkshire Borough Councils

Last month there was agreement by the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives to act on climate change irrespective of the result of the election, the pact is here :

On 8th April the following motion regarding climate change, the recent IPCC report and a low carbon agenda was submitted to be debated in Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council, Slough Borough Council and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Given the national climate change pact we would hope that our local leaders, irrespective of political party, will support the motion and a post-carbon agenda for Berkshire and ensure that dealing with climate change is a high priority now and beyond the election.

Please help support this motion by sharing widely and writing to your local political representatives to encourage their support. Open the Motion in .pdf-format here

Motion to RGB

Climate Marches

After a record turn out during the international Climate Marches on 21st September, where 410,000 turned out in New York, 20.000 in London and 700,000 globally, an update on climate progress seems appropriate.

New IPCC Synthesis Report

This week the world received another vital report from a large number of the world’s leading scientific experts on climate change – a report accepted by the UK government.

The report is available for download here and the press conference can be viewed here

The scale of the expertise on this report alone extends to the involvement of scientific experts from 85 countries with 800 authors and thousands of reviewers completing comprehensive reviews on over 30,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers on all aspects of climate change.

The 40th meeting on the issue by the IPCC assembled the Synthesis Report on the most recent findings, predictions and interpretations of data. This is no superficial institutional presentation but one which took six years of intense scientific study.

The report clearly tells us:

• Human influence on the climate system is clear and warming of the climate system is unequivocal – Recent man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history.

• The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, snow and ice reduced, sea level has risen, the oceans have become more acidic and extreme weather events have intensified.

• Without substantial and sustained reduction in carbon emissions global temperatures by the end of the 21st century could be more than 4 °C above pre-industrial levels.

• A change of that size would very likely lead to severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts on societies and the environment globally.
• Snow, ice, permafrost and glaciers are melting at the poles and globally.

• The oceans are becoming increasingly acidic.

• Extreme weather events are changing. Heat waves are lasting for longer and becoming more intense, and heavy rainfall events are becoming heavier.

• Trees and forests are dying back, corals declining, and animals have shifted from their natural habitats.

• Man-made emissions of greenhouse gases have risen enormously since the industrial revolution; CO2 levels are now at their highest in at least the last 800,000 years.

• Much of this rise in emissions has occurred in the last 40 years, with current emissions the highest in human history.

• Heat waves will occur more often and last longer, increasing the risk to health

• Heavy rainfall events will become heavier and more frequent in many places

• The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, negatively affecting marine wildlife and fisheries.

• Global average sea level will continue to rise, disrupting communities due to coastal flooding from storm surges.

• Food security will be undermined as changes in the oceans affect fisheries and drought and rising temperatures reduce global crops yields.

• To have a chance of keeping temperature change below 2 °C by the end of the century, global greenhouse emissions in 2050 need to be 40 to 70 % lower than in 2010, and emission levels near zero or below in 2100.

• Climate change will amplify existing risks and create new risks for natural and human systems. Continued high emissions would lead to mostly negative impacts for biodiversity, ecosystem services, and economic development and amplify risks for livelihoods and for food and human security.

• This means we need total human emissions of CO2 to remain less than 2900 GtCO2. We have already emitted 1900 GtCO2, which is about two thirds of this limit.

• The longer we delay action, the harder and incredibly more expensive it will be.

• The Synthesis Report provides a strengthened case for international leaders to act now to reduce domestic carbon emissions and to secure an ambitious legally binding global agreement in 2015.

Settled Scientific Advice

We need to heed the scientific advice. It is the IPCC professionals – who have often dedicated their whole lives to understanding the complex science of our finely balanced ecosystems and atmosphere – whose advice we should act upon.
Fortunately many politicians are sensible enough to know when they too need to take advice on policy-making from the right experts and so most align with the IPCC recommendations to some extent. Yet some of our UK politicians claim to know more than all those IPCC experts put together! How absurd that we give them the time of day, when they put our world at risk by hindering and delaying action to reduce CO2(e).

As Prince Charles adequately put it: “we should compare the planet under threat of climate change to a sick patient. No doctor would wait for 100% certainty whilst a dying patient slipped away.” In this scenario the doctors are the IPCC, who have over 95% certainty, and just as a doctor would not ignore the symptoms before something irreversible happens neither should we – we must act now.

Crucial UN Climate Maeeting – COP21 Paris

We have the UNFCCC process, which is trying to stimulate this action, and next year in Paris the international community are supposed to stay true to their words and sign a legally binding deal – as was promised by all countries in 2011 at the UNFCCC Durban conference.

Yet, despite the report, alarmingly, there is now talk of a legally binding deal being unlikely and, instead, an “agreement” between nations and businesses to be the result of Paris (COP21 meeting)! This is disastrous because it is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants. It is the same old game that large fossil fuel businesses play, where they will say the right things in an agreement and later, if a country has no legal deal (i.e. no repercussions if they don’t lower emissions), keep selling us fossil fuels instead of massively scaling up the alternatives needed to reduce CO2(e).

Time and time again people in political power tell us privately that large business has too much power and influence over politicians. Politicians need to have more courage and moral conviction – to stop being afraid of the consequences of upsetting large energy businesses and take the human power back into politicians’ hands – so that they can regulate our carbon. We need brave steps to be taken, steps which may cause disruption and pain but steps which will stop the patient from dying – in Prince Charles’s analogy.

Significant and Serious High Level Commentary on New Report

As the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said at the IPCC press conference, “We are at a very historic and crucially important time for humanity. Science has spoken, there is no ambiguity in the message, leaders must act, time is not on our side. There is no plan B because there is no planet B.” He went on to reiterate: “Massive, urgent and immediate action are needed, we have to mobilise all financial resources. We need everybody, even individual citizens to take action.”
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chair stated “ Climate change will leave no parts of the world untouched by the impacts…It’s very clear that to avoid the chaos of runaway climate change we need to dramatically reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases… The scientific community has now spoken and we are passing on the baton to politicians… The window of action is really closing very rapidly. We have a very short window of opportunity. Business as usual is certainly not an option. We need substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gases and adaptation. The costs will go up enormously if we delay action. The cost of inaction will be horrendously higher than the cost of action…We need to ensure that this message given by scientists is heard, not only by governments, but by business leaders and civil society, research and academia. The task we face must engage all stakeholders.

We cannot wait any further, we must act now, we have plenty of options available today that are economically viable. We need to start moving as quickly as possible. The costs of inaction are enormous and cannot even be quantified.

Finally, commenting on the report, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Office, Michel Jarraud stated “Now we are the point where excuses used for inaction are no longer valid. Ignorance can no longer be used as an excuse for inaction. The knowledge is there.”

We, all of us, from all walks of life must heed these clear words from our scientists and take action. Please write to your local MP and urge them to tell Ed Davey and David Cameron to squash any talk of opting out of a legally binding agreement at COP21. They can do this easily at the UNFCCC COP20 meeting in Peru in a few weeks. Tell MPs to pull together and make an international statement to honour their 2011 promise of a legally binding deal and in so doing “nip in the bud” any talk of “agreements” resulting instead of a deal. Non-binding agreements are what ill-intentioned business wants and are not in our national or international interest as they will fail to deliver the CO(e) reductions needed to cap global warming within a limit which will prevent catastrophic and irreversible consequences.

Do you not think you owe it to your children to understand and act on the danger we are collectively placing in their lives?

cimate nowUS President Barak Omaba’s speech to the UN Climate Conference , New York, September 2014

HRH Prince Charles urges urgent action against climate change ‘before it is too late’

Introduction to BerksCAN

We are at an important point in human history. We have made huge material progress in recent decades, and also huge scientific advances. The science of climate change is now unequivocal – we face a profound threat to life on Earth as we have known it hitherto: threats to our weather, to our food supplies on land, to the seas, to our landscape, and to other species. Changes to the climate are now being noticed by ordinary people every day. We have fifteen years left in which to radically cut our emissions of CO2.

In the past, commonly held traditional, philosophical or religious beliefs of all kinds helped to prevent people from doing things that would damage their surroundings: there were restraints on exploiting the Earth or Nature, there were obligations to earlier generations or to descendants. We need to regain that sense of duty and obligation. To be free of responsibility, if it means damaging the next generation, is no freedom at all.

Independent nation states hold the key to stopping climate change. But they usually act only for themselves, even though they have shared interests. But under pressure from their citizens they may be persuaded to find a way to work together. They have done little so far and now time has run out.

We citizens have been quiet. We have come to live cut off from our surroundings, and from the Earth itself and its atmosphere. The Earth has been treated as a tip.

We know deep down, though, that all of nature is interconnected and that the web of life can be fragile. We can, if we have the will, regain the sense that we are part of a greater whole, that we have to live in harmony with other life and that we depend on it. And we can act on that. We have the great human capacity to co-operate. There are great challenges ahead, but we have the ability to cope with them.

The actions required for cutting emissions and installing clean energy are well known. The technology is there. We need only stop dithering and set off down the path. Otherwise our children will have to do it, and in far worse circumstances.

Let us start near home, in our own county. BerksCAN’s purpose is to help the community understand the issues and to take steps along the path that inevitably must be taken.

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Your elected representatives have a moral duty of care to protect the community and your children. Are your elected representatives fulfilling their duty of care? Do they understand the gravity of the scientific advice being given to them? Are they acting on your behalf? Are they voting for action? Are they putting pressure on national government to acknowledge the threat and strongly respond on your behalf?

Carbon emissions are rising not falling. Its clear that many of your representatives are not acting in the interest of current and future generations to protect from the damaging effects of climate change. BerksCAN!’s view is that this is immoral, unjust and reprehensible and must change as per the scientific advice given to them. We cannot condemn current and future generations to the clear growing danger that is becoming increasingly evident.

The community must respond and demand action commensurate with the scientific knowledge to face up to this issue Write to your representative. Let BerksCAN! know the response.