‘Bigger than party politics’ – Merton residents call on council to declare climate emergency

Concerned Merton residents are rallying together in the battle against climate change.

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for Merton Council to join 109 other councils from around the UK and declare a climate emergency.

The petition was started by Merton Green Party member Pippa Maslin (pictured above, right) and will be received by Councillor Tobin Byers at the Civic Centre on July 10 at 6.30pm, before being formally submitted to the council.

Dr Maslin said: “Scientists warn that climate breakdown is the single biggest issue facing us.

“The petition was designed to show the council how many local people are deeply concerned about climate breakdown and want urgent action.

“I feel strongly that a body as influential as Merton Council should help those who live, work and use services in the borough become carbon neutral by 2030.”

So far, 69 out of the 109 councils to declare a climate emergency have chosen 2030 as their target to become carbon neutral and Merton petitioners want this to be the aim not just for the council but the whole borough.

Dr Maslin added: “Given the urgency of the situation and the groundswell of Merton public opinion, it would be very disappointing if our council did not declare an emergency, especially after the climate emergency declaration from the national government.

“We know political parties in Merton are discussing a climate emergency and we welcome that. Climate breakdown is far bigger than party politics and people signing this petition hold a range of political views.”

Wimbledon resident Katie Meech, who has helped Dr Maslin with the petition, expressed her delight at how much attention it has gained from the Merton community.

She said: “They’ve heard the warning that we have 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe and they want urgent action. A significant number of people signing the petition even thanked us for organising it!

“We are the first generation to be affected by climate change and the last that can prevent catastrophe.

“I am not involved in politics and I am a floating voter, but the threat of climate breakdown is just too frightening to sit back and do nothing.”

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