by Steff on 27 November, 2019
Here’s the speech I gave in support of the County Council’s new environmental policy, which I was involved in shaping through my participation in the Task and Finish group:
I welcome the striking presence this morning of The Red Brigade, Extinction Rebellion, school strikers and many other people, who have been bearing witness so powerfully with their silence to the burden of responsibility facing this council. We are surely the natural unit of leadership and accountability in Norfolk in tackling the climate emergency for us and for future generations.
I believe that some people in our county – from across a range of partners – have waited their entire careers for the opportunity to work under the direction of a policy like this.
Others – like me – have seen the light more recently. In particular those of us who have a stake in what happens in the next fifty years, but are old and ugly enough to know that no one is going to come in and do it for us.
My question is: will Norfolk County Council really take the lead, as the committee report that recommended this policy set out – or will it look after its own and let others do the same. This would be a license for inaction and a prescription for inertia.
The statement “ensure that each project the Council undertakes is assessed for the contribution it will make towards meeting our environmental targets” – does this actually mean that in future, on balance, some projects will be deemed unviable under this revised focus on reducing Norfolk’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2030?
If so, then I believe we are sufficiently prepared for the change that’s needed in our county as well as our council.
I can hear myself asking these questions for some time to come as the real level of political will behind this policy is borne out.
But for the mean time, with these reservation, I welcome the arrival of this policy. It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to serve on the task and finish committee, and I wish to thank the officers in particular for the depth and detail of their work.Leave a comment