Tell the truth about climate change & fossil fuels! Email YOUR question to ESCC’s next Full Council meeting by 23 November.

We need YOUR* help to get Sussex County Council (ESCC) to tell the truth about climate change & fossil fuels.

Please take 2 mins to email the question below to ESCC by 4pm on 23 November – full details below.

* Residents of East Sussex, Brighton and Hove – ESCC runs *your* Local Government Pension Scheme.
BACKGROUND

In October 2019 East Sussex County Council (ESCC) declared a ‘climate emergency’. But it continues to act as though it has all the time in the world to address it.

It doesn’t.

Over ninety members of the public submitted our three key ‘This is a climate emergency!’ questions to ESCC’s last (13 Oct) Full Council meeting.

But responding for the Council, the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Cllr Gerard Fox, failed to answer *any* of these questions.

With the window for limiting global warming to 1.5°C rapidly closing, it’s time for ESCC to tell the truth about climate change & fossil fuels.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

ESCC will be holding its next Full Council meeting (virtually) on Tuesday 1 December.

To keep the pressure up, we need as many people as possible to email them the question below. They have to respond and include both your question and their response in their minutes. The deadline for you to email your question is 4pm on Monday 23 November.

Please follow the following four easy steps (estimate time required 2 – 3 mins):

1. Either choose to use our ‘Tell the truth about climate change & fossil fuels!’ question (see the bottom of this page) or write your own. For this Council meeting we strongly urge you to submit our question (see the bottom of this page) as this will give the Council less wriggle room to argue that ‘too many different questions were asked’ to provide answers to them all, or the like.

2. Send an email to democratic.services@eastsussex.gov.uk with the following text and the subject line ‘Question for the 1 December 2020 Full Council meeting’:

‘Please find below my question for the Full Council meeting on 1 December 2020:

INSERT YOUR QUESTION HERE (ideally the ‘Tell the truth about climate change & fossil fuels question!’ at the bottom of this page)

YOUR NAME
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR PHONE NUMBER’

The deadline for you to do this is 4pm on Monday 23 November. Please CC. your email to divesteastsussex@gmail.com so that we know how many questions have been submitted for our press releases.

Please note that they’ll only accept your question if you include your address and phone number, but they *won’t* include these in their minutes.

3. Help spread the word by telling your friends and family, sharing this email or sharing the following link on social media: https://tinyurl.com/escctellthetruth

4. That’s it!

———————–

OUR ‘TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE & FOSSIL FUELS!’ QUESTION FOR YOU TO SEND TO EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL:

Over ninety people submitted the following three questions to the 13 October 2020 Full Council meeting:

Q1. Does the East Sussex Pension Committee accept that, because burning fossil fuels is the key driver of global warming, the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (to keep global warming to ‘well below 2 °C’, pursuing 1.5°C) cannot be achieved without the rapid alignment of the big fossil fuel companies with a 1.5°C pathway*?

Q2. Can the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee give a single example of an oil or gas major that is currently aligned with a 1.5°C pathway*?

Q3. And – given the rapidly shrinking window for action – when will the Fund divest from those oil and gas companies that fail to align themselves with a 1.5°C pathway*?

* By a 1.5°C pathway we mean one that: (a) yields a 50% or better chance of keeping global warming below 1.5°C; and (b) does so without assuming the future creation of global scale ‘negative emissions technologies’ (ie. ones that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) that don’t currently exist.

Responding for the Council, the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Cllr Gerard Fox, failed to answer any of these three questions.

Specifically:

(a) he failed to either accept or deny the impossibility of achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement without ‘the rapid alignment of the big fossil fuel companies with a 1.5°C pathway’;

(b) he failed to ‘give a single example of an oil or gas major that is currently aligned with a 1.5°C pathway’, while also failing to acknowledge the fact that no such companies exist;

and

(c) he failed to provide any indication of when the East Sussex Pension Fund would divest from those oil and gas companies that don’t align themselves with a 1.5°C pathway.

With the window for limiting global warming to 1.5°C – and thereby avoiding the most calamitous impacts of climate change – rapidly closing, it’s essential that East Sussex County Council starts telling the truth about climate change and fossil fuels.

I would therefore like to re-submit the three unanswered questions listed above:

Q1. Does the East Sussex Pension Committee accept that, because burning fossil fuels is the key driver of global warming, the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (to keep global warming to ‘well below 2 °C’, pursuing 1.5°C) cannot be achieved without the rapid alignment of the big fossil fuel companies with a 1.5°C pathway*?

Q2. Can the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee give a single example of an oil or gas major that is currently aligned with a 1.5°C pathway*?

Q3. And – given the rapidly shrinking window for action – when will the Fund divest from those oil and gas companies that fail to align themselves with a 1.5°C pathway*?

* By a 1.5°C pathway we mean one that: (a) yields a 50% or better chance of keeping global warming below 1.5°C; and (b) does so without assuming the future creation of global scale ‘negative emissions technologies’ (ie. ones that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) that don’t currently exist.

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