Notes from Sheffield FoE Local Group
meeting - 20th December 2021
Lindy S (chair), Liddy G, Helen F, Sandra B, Nick B, Richard S, Greg H.
Apologies: Sean A, Claire B, Duncan F, Sarah S
New members: Greg Hewitt is an active campaigner from Chesterfield,
recently moved to Sheffield and introduced himself to the Sheffield group – an
experienced and very welcome addition to our campaigning capacity. Greg has
previously met Richard and some other FoE members, other group members also
introduced themselves to Greg.
Cambo Oilfield success: The decision by Shell
to pull out of the Cambo project, and then by Siccar Point to ‘pause’ their
plans is a massive win for the movement.
While it is not complete closure and nor did the government have to rule
on it, it is cause for optimism.
However, careful eyes will be being kept on future plans.
Working locally with partners:
Lindy is part of an SCA lobbying group that
has now met with Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, twice.
Unfortunately progress by Sheffield council is still slow. There was discussion of the best ways to
engage councillors and the need for ways to ensure they are better informed on
environmental issues. Some attention is now shifting to South Yorkshire Mayoral
Combined Authority, particularly in the run up to the Mayoral election in May
2022 when Dan Jarvis stands down. There will be candidates from the four main
parties including the Green Party. There
will also be council elections.
Claire, Sarah & Lindy are also part of
the Nature Recovery Sheffield steering group which aims to help share the work
of different groups around the city around the network and together work with
the council to develop a Nature Recovery Strategy for Sheffield.
Working nationally with FoE
below for information on opposition to the Mozambique LNG project. The new
national priorities will be announced in the New Year.
Monthly challenges set:
December: Add an extra ‘no-meat’ day to
your week. If you’re already veggie : one extra day, no dairy. If you’re already vegan: one day, focus on local
January: Write to your MP or local
councillor - on a specific issue or just
urging more/better/faster action on the climate & nature crisis (use ‘They
Work For You’ website to get MPs’ contact details easily, use local council
website for councillors) OR sign one (or more!) petitions on an environmental
February: If wanting a ‘new’ item of
clothing for yourself, a child or any loved one buy second hand (pre-loved!) OR
ensure it’s made from 100% sustainable materials OR rent/hire/borrow instead.
Richard gave a presentation on the current context for the
gas pipeline project and related energy challenges in Mozambique, informed by
his own experience in the country. The country is very poor and only gained
independence from Portugal after an armed struggle in 1975. He shared some key
background in terms of geography and the recent history of the area where the
pipeline comes ashore. The involvement of the UK government is at odds with our
climate policy and locally the project is already causing conflict. The Cambo
campaign highlights how sustained international pressure can make a difference
to government and industry policies. The legal case is ongoing (hearing was 7-9
Dec with judgement now awaited) and so it is worth keeping up the pressure from
numerous local groups acting together. Action in the UK helps to motivate and
support the local campaigners.
More information on how to follow the campaign and social media links on: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/whats-happening-mozambique
Future Events and Actions:
Further action on our Peat-free compost petition – We
have not had the capacity to take this petition forward but the need has become
more urgent with the news that there is another delay in legislating for a ban
on peat compost. A small working group
needed if we are progress this campaign in January. Nick offered to be a
contact for retailers/garden centres in his area.
Sustainable Fashon online event: Helen & Izzy are
leading on this. Potential date in February 21st with a target
audience of younger people as a way of extending our reach.
Working Regionally with FoE: A regional opposition is
building against the wood burning Drax power station and we will keep abreast
of this and involve ourselves where we can.
An excellent policy paper on this topic has been produced by FoE. https://policy.friendsoftheearth.uk/insight/future-drax-old-inefficient-damaging-and-expensive
We can support by sharing and promoting a petition led by West Yorkshire: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-public-money-funding-destructive-biomass-2
schedule for campaigning:
January : Peat Free compost petition roll out to
February: Joing in Climate Coalition ‘Show the
Love’ campaigning boosting climate awareness
March: Drax campaigning
· April: SY Mayoral race, including hustings
numbers: current database
and social media followers continues to grow: Database 477 (+1 in the month)
Twitter 774 (+ 21) Facebook 656 (+4)
Copyright issue: A 2015 post promoting an action, shared from
a now-defunct national group, included an image which is deemed to have broken
copyright. We have been served a notice
to pay £78 or be taken to court. Shaun has
taken advice from regional lead Simon Bowens
campaigning and recycling: Although there
is limited action and issues about the lack of recycling in Sheffield, Greg is
aware of current campaigning in Chesterfield and is linking with Sheffield
campaigners to enhance their work. .
Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire: Richard updated on plans to build on the very
successful conference held in July 3031 and bring the next conference forward
to March 2022 so it is more central to the school year. Already they have 20
contributors signed up and are lobbying all the South Yorkshire local
authorities for contributing funding and delivery capacity. Individual and
organizational donations are also being sought and we will put more information
on what is planned and what funding is still needed in the next newsletter.
Local Group Meeting
– 7:30pm on 17th January 2022 – via Zoom. Duncan has offered to lead
a session on his ’10 year journey to reduce carbon footprint’.