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Reflections on COP26

Negotiations by the players at COP26, that is governments and big businesses, have not ended in the progress green campaigners have lobbied for. The Green Party of England and Wales has argued for decades that humans need to curb their demands on the planet. How? By cutting their COemissions through insulating homes; by travelling less and by changing that mode of travel through increased walking, cycling and use of public transport; by slashing food miles and growing food organically; by cutting waste through refuse, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle policies; by sharing our fragile Earth’s resources more fairly so that no human has to suffer hunger, cold or any other form of deprivation; and by ensuring that enough of our land and seas are left for nature, that bountiful resource that ultimately keeps all of us fed and watered. 

Our planet Earth, that beautiful blue ball in space, does not negotiate with humans. There is no other planet we can escape to. We have to live within the confines of this planet’s limitations. The Green Party’s slogan ‘Act Locally, Think Globally’ has never been more apt. What does it mean for us in West Wales to act locally? It means no further road expansion, no more by-passes, as we cannot keep accommodating an increase in the use of private cars. It means that such funds should instead be spent on joining all towns and villages with shared cycle and pedestrian paths. It means not sitting on our laurels and bemoan the state of the buses but demand better services. It means keeping the footpaths that have been created in our local towns, all of them, as what regime can possibly expend all that effort and energy on building these paths and then the same on removing them! It means keeping our local village schools open, not forcing parents to drive their little ones as none of them will allow them to walk or cycle several miles along a main road. It means our local councils putting funds in ethical banks and building societies, not in fossil fuel industry supporting ones. It means regenerating the centres of our towns, not allowing multi-national supermarkets to build on the outskirts and greenwashing such a development with small local additions such as is happening in Lampeter. It means Ceredigion County Council doing far more to make the whole of Ceredigion’s economy carbon neutral by 2030, not just its own buildings and workforce, and that means stricter planning regulations, forcing each and every development to be carbon neutral. 

“If we are to keep the goal of 1.5˚ alive, we should all step up to the plate. For the sake of our future generations and all species without a voice, let’s hope the climate and biodiversity crises stay in the headlines.” Those are Harry Hayfield’s thoughts. Harry has become one of Ceredigion Green Party’s most tireless campaigners.


Elly Foster

Press Officer

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