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.



Pollination Project

Visit our calendar for an event on bee identification

SLACC tt is keen to expand its support group for this project.   We already have a small list of supporters and if you are on that list we will be contacting you later in January.   In the meantime we know that once the project starts moving in March there will be a range of tasks best done by volunteers.   Please contact us at slacc tt if you can help in any way.  Takes range from monitoring to maintenance.


Launch of our Pollinators Project

Kendal Pollinators Project  Launch Event

Come along to Unitarian Chapel School Room on Wednesday 16th November 7pm to 9pm for a buzzing evening and help us get our exciting new project flying. Unitarian Chapel is on Branthwaite Brow (close to Bootleggers). Go through the metal gates and round the right hand side of the chapel to get to the schoolroom.

Getting Kendal buzzing

On 16th November the Kendal Pollinators Project will be launched at the Unitarian Chapel School Rooms. After a year of preparation, discussions and seeking funding, South Lakes Action on Climate Change, Kendal Town Council and South Lakeland District Council are about to start a buzzing new project which will see schools and community groups in Kendal invited to join in with a range of projects which will explain the importance of, and create homes and habitat for pollinating insects.


The project aims over 3 years to develop a corridor buzzing with life on the canal tow path through the middle of Kendal. Schools and community groups will be asked to develop plots on the canal tow path which will, in different ways, explain the importance of and encourage pollinating insects. This will form an outdoor public gallery of mini-projects, ideas and experiments all about the importance to us all of our pollinators.

Who is involved?

We are seeking to recruit 5 schools and 2 community groups to work with us on the Kendal Pollinators Project. Each of these will develop their own mini-project, which they will choose depending on their interests and resources. We have funding to support the development of each mini-project. Each mini-project will be supported through the process by the project consultant who will be able to provide friendly guidance, help to develop project ideas, and links to lots of exciting resources.

Where will this happen?

Each of the mini-projects will take place on the canal tow-path through Kendal, but there could also be supporting work happening, for instance, in school grounds. It is important that members of the public can see how each mini-project develops over the course of 3 years.

Science in the community

The core of Kendal Pollinators Project is to engage people in citizen science which develops ideas about how we can improve habitats for pollinating insects in our own communities. Each mini-project will involve a scientific investigation over 3 years. It could be recording how numbers of wildflowers vary in different areas; monitoring insect numbers; investigating how changes to mowing regimes effect pollinators; or how different planting schemes benefit pollinators; exploring methods of managing hay meadows in public areas; or investigating the impacts of placing bee hives or nesting in public areas. Or something else which interests you. Whatever your experiment is, it should be carried out within the framework of the Kendal Pollinators Project, should be carried through for a minimum of 3 years, and it should contribute to a better understanding of how to explain the importance of, and create homes and habitat for pollinating insects.

More info

Kendal Pollinators Project employs a consultant to manage and support the project. To register your interest, or for a chat about the project contact Stuart Lockton by phone on 07967 630956 or e-mail Stuart


Membership Secretary wanted

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change towards Transition (SLACCtt)

Wanted – someone special to take on the role of Membership Secretary for a local charity

What do you need to do?

  • The day to day bit – send welcome emails to new members
  • The annual bit – check subs have been received and chase
  • The tecchy bit – make sure our databases are correct and up to date, contribute to our social media
  • The liaison bit – with our Treasurer on membership subs, with our Trustees with ideas and with our members on new developments
  • The really interesting bit – we’re growing, we’re focusing and we’ve new projects in the pipeline. From pollination corridors to pollution measurement, food growing to story suppers we’re expanding our horizons which means creating opportunities to grow our membership.

Who could do it? If you have a passion for protecting the environment and promoting sustainable living, know your way around databases, can balance the day to day with the exciting stuff and keep the Trustees in the loop, this could be your opportunity to contribute.

It’s a voluntary role, working with a committed group of Trustees, members and hundreds of others who are interested enough in what we do to be on our mailing list.

Planter. Help needed

South Lakes Against Climate Change (SLACC), working together with Kendal Town Council, maintain 3 demonstration edible planters, two at Maude’s Meadow, and now at the Leisure Centre. Stuart Lockton maintains the Leisure Centre one with Heron Hill School. Debbie Greenwood has maintained the Maude Street planters but has had to withdraw due to a life changing illness.   We do need others to help us with this project so please contact usIMG_0801

slacc tt Review Group

The Review Group (set up at the AGM)  is meeting during the summer and will be contacting members in September or before with our ideas for how slacc tt moves forward.


AGM and Jacobs Join at The Gate,Maude Street, Kendal on Wednesday 20th May 7.15pm.  Please bring a simple dish to share.

SLACC-TT members at Global Divestment Day

Members of South Lakes Action on Climate Change – Towards Transition joined thousands of people across the globe on February 14th, calling on churches, universities, councils and individuals to divest from fossil fuels.

Global Divestment Day marks a turning point for the growing movement working to reduce investments in the fossil fuel industry, when more than a dozen new countries launched campaigns on new targets including South Africa, Japan and France. In the UK already, the Quaker movement is taking steps to divest from fossil fuels, as has University of Glasgow, with many more campaigns currently underway. See www.moveyourmoney.org.uk  and the Fossil Free UK campaign.

Divestment image