Marching for climate justice in Glasgow: CPRE says ‘Plan 4 Nature Now’!

By Jackie Copley

Jackie Copley, Planning Manager at CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, reports back after attending the COP26 summit in Glasgow with CPRE colleagues.

The CPRE team, a mix of staff and volunteers, travelled to Glasgow by train (not a private jet in sight) to take part in the COP26 Green Fringe and the Global Day of Action March.

'Attending COP-26 was inspiring, enabling a better understanding of issues surrounding equality and social justice from talking to people about the key issues, solutions, and priorities.'
Jackie Copley

When in Glasgow the team of volunteers and staff attended the Green Fringe where there were exhibitions on ‘green’ sustainable solutions and events.  The team was there to learn more and raise awareness of problems for rural areas and nature based solutions.

Why is COP26 so important for the countryside? Find out more

A particularly important event was a panel discussion by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Strengthening Parliamentary Consensus for Global Change, chaired by Bim Afolami with Alex Sobel MP, Anna McMorring MP, Anthony Browne MP,Baroness Helene Hayman (Peers for the Planet Co-Chair), Ed Davey MP, and Philip Dunne MP.

COP26 Panel Discussion | Jackie Copley

Our team put questions to the panel about the need to increase insulation and consideration of the carbon impacts of proposed development in the planning system.  Currently, our National Planning Policy Framework does not require the carbon lifecycle of development to be considered and it has resulted in unsustainable development that has caused an ecological collapse and natural capital degradation.

The panel agreed with us and extended an invitation to colleagues to engage in the forthcoming planning reforms, and the House of Lords Inquiry on onshore windfarms.

The vital role of civil society on maintaining public pressure for socially responsible change was identified as key by the Panel members and they congratulated CPRE and other environmental charities for the good work they have done.  Since the Paris Agreement of 2015, public opinion on the climate emergency is much clearer and people are ahead of Government in terms of what actions are required and how quickly they are needed to be implemented.  We need to be Carbon Zero without delay.

Maddy Houghton-Boakes on BBC Breakfast | screenshot

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, CPRE Campaigns Manager, participated in a BBC Breakfast interview highlighting the need for urgent action and rural solutions.

The vital role of civil society on maintaining public pressure for socially responsible change was identified as key by the Panel members and they congratulated CPRE and other environmental charities for the good work they have done.  Since the Paris Agreement of 2015, public opinion on the climate emergency is much clearer and people are ahead of Government in terms of what actions are required and how quickly they are needed to be implemented.  We need to be Carbon Zero without delay.

In line with our campaign for sustainable transport, the team travelled to COP-26 by train, and Hostelling Scotland provided cheap, green and clean accommodation.  We made banners from recycled materials and used catchy slogans such as ‘Bleat for Peat’, ‘March now, swim later’, ‘Keep Coal in the Hole’, ‘Honk for Hedgerows’ and ‘Plan 4 Nature Now!’

100,000s of people attended from all backgrounds.  Hundreds of thousands more attended marches and rallies in Manchester, Liverpool, and other places.  It was useful for CPRE to be visible to so many people who care for the environment and value the countryside.

At all times the team ensured the core values of CPRE were strictly adhered to, promoting a positive, considered approach to connect people and countryside, promote rural life, empower communities, and grow our capacity.

We teamed up with Amy Bray who in 2019 set up a charity called Another Way based on her passion for our beautiful planet and especially the oceans she loves devotedly.  Amy has recently become a patron of Friends of the Lake District.

The delegation found attending COP-26 was inspiring enabling a better understanding of issues surrounding equality and social justice from talking to people about the key issues, solutions, and priorities.

It is so important that CPRE is relevant and continues to promote sustainable solutions, attend relevant events, and partner others to persuade the people in power that the climate emergency is the most pressing issue of the day that most threatens our rural areas.

Maddy Houghton-Boakes
Quernmore landscape