Whitehaven Coal Mine Hearing

HEARING POSTPONED (for proposed coal mine at Whitehaven

Cumbria County Council (CCC) have postponed the hearing for the proposed coal mine at  to Tuesday 19 March

Please click here for online updates of the date of the hearing and any associated protests or type bit.ly/SLACCttNOtoCOAL into your browser.

Coal mining has got to be stopped. The carbon emissions from this proposal would be large enough to scupper aims for Cumbria to become carbon neutral by 2030 as part of a hoped-for declaration of a Climate Emergency by Cumbria County Council, and even to meet current climate commitments. They would also equate to thousands of climate deaths [according to calculations by Laurie Michaelis]. Please therefore don’t lose interest: this could be the most important influence we can have regarding climate change in Cumbria for many years.

Pollination Project

Thanks to Ian Rodham, our co-ordinator for the Pollination Project and to the Schools and groups who are engaging again this year with the plots on Kendal’s old canal towpath.


We know that GDPR meant that we lost a number of subscribers.    If you are not receiving the Newsletter please e mail us at slaclimatechange@googlemail.com

Pollination Project

Congratulations to all the children and volunteers who have helped to plant 10,000 wildflower plug plants this autumn.   we now look forward to seeing the results next summer.


Pollination Project

September is going to be a busy month.  Check out the dates of various activities, many of which need volunteers.    The pollination project is grant funded by The Ernest Cook Trust.masthead-logo copy

16th/17th Sept  SLACC volunteers needed to complete any raking off from plots

18th Sept  Continental Landscapes:  will collect hay from piles

19th Sept    KCV and SLACC volunteers needed to  support school children planting wildflowers  (Also SLACC volunteers to support Sea Cadets planting wildflowersdate  date to be confirmed)

23rd Sept 5.30pm-6.45pm   SLACC volunteers needed to  support Kingfisher children planting wildflowers

26th Sept   KCV and SLACC volunteers needed to  support school children planting wildflowers



Photo by Liz Ashburn of handover of ICS-ISDS petition on 21oct16 - crop1 - 1MB





Help stop CETA giving legal powers to the fossil fuel industry – MEPs vote on 15th February

On 15th February the European Parliament has tabled the plenary vote for MEPs on CETA – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada. CETA still contains the climate-threatening ICS/ISDS text, which would give both Canadian and US oil and fracking firms the power to challenge and undermine any climate legislation that might reduce their future profits (such as any reinstatement of the Fuel Quality Directive’s distinction against higher carbon intensity fuels such as from Canada’s tar sands).


Please write to your MEPs to vote against CETA because it undermines the Paris Agreement on climate change by giving such legal powers to fossil fuel and other TNCs. It protects the investor, but lacks any legal “teeth” to protect the environment. On the ICS/ISDS you could refer to this online pdf: ‘The strong case against separate corporate court systems (ICS/ISDS)’ which is reached with this link: www.bit.ly/ICSISDS This pdf states “We can’t let big US oil and fracking firms have an ICS/ISDS in CETA to undermine climate legislation.” and contains the quote: “Chevron argues that the mere existence of ISDS is important as it acts as a deterrent.” (EU Commission official about a meeting with Chevron on ISDS, 29th April 2014). And it’s not just the ICS/ISDS text that’s a threat: for example big business requests have been included in CETA text such as on “regulatory cooperation”, as this new report shows: https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/attachments/ceo_regulatory_cooperation_06.1.pdf Also EU’s precautionary principle is diluted.


The crucial “swing voters” (in a broad sense) on CETA will be the MEPs in the S&D group (Social & Democrat) – who call themselves “Progressives” and include UK’s Labour MEPs. Though UK public citizens and citizens-groups have persuaded most Labour MEPs such as Julie Ward MEP (NW England) against CETA, many S&D MEPs in other EU countries may follow their leaders by rubber-stamping CETA without adequate scrutiny – unless persuaded otherwise. So please ask Labour MEPs to persuade their S&D allies against CETA. S&D MEPs are voting on S&D’s final position on Monday, 6th February – apparently the vote is on a knife-edge.


You would think that the “progressives” would agree with the opinion against CETA by the MEPs’ Committee on Employment and Social Affairs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/henryadams/32497745535/in/datetaken-public/lightbox/    But many such “moderate” politicians seem to have a “herd” instinct and may presume an EU trade agreement with an ally to be a good thing, and there is a moo’d (excuse the pun) amongst many MEPs to rush through CETA before the EU loses another so-called “trade deal”.


Below are both contact and source information to help you.


Contact info:

GJN at www.globaljustice.org.uk and War on Want here: www.waronwant.org/final-ceta-vote-ask-your-mep-say-no both provide template emails which are quick and easy if you are short of time, but they don’t focus on climate change and won’t have the impact of your own personal email.

This is a help: https://www.writetothem.com/ – but doesn’t reveal MEPs urls to you and restricts you to simple text. So here are urls for the Labour MEPs for NW England:

Theresa Griffin MEP, Tel: 00 322 284 5271 theresa@theresa.griffin.eu     http://theresagriffin.eu

Afzal Khan MEP, Tel: 07966 796767 contact@afzalkhan.org.uk     www.afzalkhan.org.uk

Julie Ward MEP, Tel: 00 322 284 5702 contact@juliewardmep.eu     www.juliewardmep.eu

And for all UK’s Labour MEPs – here’s an Excel spreadsheet you can use/download: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/ListofLabourMEPs.xlsx

Sources to help you


No need to write much!

Press release for hand-over of ICS/ISDS petition to Tim Farron MP – useful for quotes – or “plagiarize”: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/Press_release_for_handover_of_ICS-ISDS_petition_on_Friday_21oct16.pdf

You could download and add one of these photos to give impact:


www.dragonfly1.plus.com/ICS-ISDSpetitionin3nov16WestmorlandGazette.jpg – useful quote there?

You could add e.g. “Please represent your constituents …” referring to number of signatures.

This pdf gives links to useful references on CETA: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/CETAreferences.pdf






Update on Canada’s tar sands industry re CETA: EU climate legislation in the Fuel Quality Directive has already been diluted to ineffectiveness when it was “traded away” like a “bargaining chip” during the negotiation of TTIP and CETA. The FQD’s climate legislation originally aimed to reduce incentives for importing the more carbon-intense oil products from sources such as the tar sands. Other limits to tar sands expansion via export have also been removed: Both Trump and Trudeau have OK’d the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and Trudeau has OK’d other tar sands pipelines too, and the expansion of the tar sands industry, thereby making his signing of the Paris Agreement a pretence. The implementation of CETA and its ICS-ISDS would make it hard to halt expansion of the tar sands by regulatory means. More on the tar sands implications here: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/#blog for recent news, and www.dragonfly1.plus.com for tar sands intro.




Changes to how you pay your membership

Slacc Membership     To all those of you who currently pay by standing order.   I now have a list of when your membership enters our account.    I will be attempting the year to write to many of you before that event to ask if you would instead sign up for a direct debit through Local Giving.   The advantage to us is that they will both match fund your membership this year AND claim gift aid if you sign the appropriate part in their application process.   Here are the details, but I hope to send this to you during the year and a few weeks before your membership is currently paid.