Former deputy Stratford District Council leader says older people should get behind climate change campaigns - The Stratford Observer
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Former deputy Stratford District Council leader says older people should get behind climate change campaigns

Catherine Thompson 19th Jul, 2019 Updated: 19th Jul, 2019

OLDER people in Stratford are being urged to add their voices to those demanding action against climate change.

Former Stratford District Council deputy leader Trevor Russel says older people ‘have a massive stake in the issue’ as well as being directly affected by extreme weather.

The chair of Warwickshire Older People’s Forum said: “Young people have largely forced the pace on climate change, understandably so because they are the future and their future will be pretty bleak and blighted if current trends aren’t reversed.

“But older people also have a massive stake in this issue.

“We are already significant contributors to climate change and will leave an even bigger carbon footprint as the population ages faster.

“My generation also suffers disproportionately from weather extremes especially when living alone and isolated. We have a vested interest in tackling this problem because we ourselves are directly affected. But our children and grandchildren are also affected.

“So my generation has a moral responsibility to demonstrate, in every sense of the word, that we intend to leave them with a healthier environment than our parents left us. That requires older people to summon up the same passion as those leading the fight for urgent action on climate change, become green activists and directly campaign alongside young people.”

And Mr Russel is also calling on councils to help lead the way in combating climate change.

He added: “Councils must take ownership of the agenda and develop plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible.

“They need to work with local groups – including older people’s organisations – to agree realistic local targets, set firm timelines to achieve them and lead a community-wide coalition to do so.”Stratford District Council declared a climate emergency at a council meeting on Monday (July 15) and is set to discuss how it can take action locally against global warming.

Mr Russel insisted it was not a political issue but a ‘matter of survival’.

Across the world, scientists and eco-activists have pledged to limit inevitable global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius to avoid risks such as extreme weather, the spreading of disease, species extinction and poverty in Africa and Asia.

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