Head of the Council Mike Whitby outside Birmingham City Council House
How Serious Should Local Authorities Get? Many local authorities have already taken action on climate change. They have signed the Nottingham Declaration, calculated their carbon footprint and looked at how they might reduce it. The city of Manchester has produced its own “mini-Sterne Report”. Commissioned by the city’s economic development agency, Manchester Enterprises, the report estimated that doing nothing to combat climate change would cost the city £21 billion over the next decade. Birmingham has set its own carbon reduction target of a 60% reduction by 2026. Continued on Page 12
Campaigns Digest 3 - Campaigns Digest 5
- Planet Friendly Farming
- Better Buses
10 - Feeling all Powered Up 12
Cover Article - Get Serious
- Guest Article - Stop Climate Chaos
17 - Organic Beer Festival 18 - Environmental Justice 20 - Volunteer in the Spotlight 21
- Membership Form
23 - Contacts
Aviation It is with great sadness that I report that the Flyagra campaign against the expansion of Birmingham International Airport has come to an end. In spite of the Aviation Action Group running one of the biggest BFoE campaigns to date, the Secretary of State gave the final seal of approval to the planned extension to the runway at BIA on 6th May, denying us any chance of a legal challenge through judicial review. Transport On a happier note, the work of the Transport Action Group seems to go from strength to strength. The launch of our campaign to bring 20mph speed limits to Birmingham’s streets, in partnership with Campaign for Better Transport and Living Streets, has sparked much interest in the local press. The Birmingham Post has seen a flurry of letters in support of the idea, with a few opposed, and the Birmingham Mail recently ran an article about the campaign. With news that the government will be issuing guidelines in support of 20mph schemes in the near future, our own campaign has also gained some serious support. Following the decision by Cllr Len Gregory to remove the bus lanes on Tyburn Road, we have also launched a “Better Buses for Birmingham” campaign aimed at reinstating the bus lanes and giving Brum’s public transport users a better deal. You
can read more about that in the article “Time for Better Buses in Birmingham”. Energy & Climate Change With the “Energy Revolution” campaign being wrapped up in late April, the Energy & Climate Change Action Group made a final push to get more businesses signed up to the campaign in the closing weeks of the month. In the end we got 49 organisations to show their support for more renewable energy in the UK, including ones as far away as Aberdeen and Exeter. The group are now turning their attention towards the “Get Serious About CO2” campaign aimed at getting local authorities to seriously address climate change at a local level. You can read more about that in our feature article “How Serious Should Local Authorities Get?” Food & Local Shops The Food & Local Shops Action Group have been gearing up for a summer of action on the “Fix the Food Chain” campaign. Armed with leaflets, pop-up postcards, cow-shaped sandwich boards and a burning desire to stop factory farmed animals being fed GM soy beans from South American plantations, the campaigners are ready to face the public at stalls across Birmingham. Find out more about the campaign in the article “Over 200 MPs Get Behind Animal-Friendly Farming” or visit www.fixthefoodchain.com.
Campaigns Digest Faith & Climate Change Life continues to be busy for those involved in the Faith & Climate Change Project. They are currently looking forward to the ‘Water For Life’ event in Cannon Hill Park on Sunday 7th June and spending a day talking to people about the work they do. Recently this work has involved training in energy efficiency in households and in places of worship with support from the Energy Savings Trust. Some of the participants saw this work in action on their recent trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Faith & Climate Change
team look forward to seeing the resulting changes across the summer. Ben Martin
Recently this work has involved training in energy efficiency in households and in places of worship
annual general meeting 8th June - 7.30
We are due to hold our annual general meeting, which this year is happening on the 8th of June in the meeting room at Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s building on Allison Street. Everyone is invited, but only shareholders are allowed to vote. If you are interested in becoming a shareholder, then please contact the general manager using the details at the back of this newsletter. Shares in our not for profit community co-operative cost £1 and each person is entitled to one vote no matter how many shares they have. We will be reporting on how we have done financially, environmentally and socially throughout 2008 as well as electing our chairperson, treasurer, secretary and management committee. It is a pretty packed and exhausting night, so we encourage people to bring food and drinks to share.
The shops and companies here have all come together because they are dedicated to working towards a healthier, more organic city. So if you want to help make Birmingham a cleaner, greener place to live, or you just want to eat some good vegetarian food, then come to The Warehouse and see what’s going on.
Sales, service, repairs, accessories. Bikes also built to your own specifications.
Established over 15 years ago in the Friends of the Earth Building in Birmingham The Warehouse Café has a reputation as a quality provider of vegetarian and vegan food in Birmingham. “Real people serving real food with local, organic and fair trade leading the way” Guardian Unlimited. To see the delicious menu go to www.thewarehousecafe.com For bookings and enquires Telephone 0121 633 0261 Email email@example.com
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm 0121 633 0730
• 100% vegetarian and vegan • A Large selection of organic and fairtrade products, most supplied and delivered by a workers co-operative • Vegan owners - no meat or dairy products sold Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm
Over 200 MPs Get Behind Planet-Friendly Farming Over 200 MPs have now signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 845, which calls on the Government to reduce the UK’s impact on global greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss from the livestock sector and to support a viable, sustainable and thriving UK farming industry. The Early Day Motion 845 is one of the top ten most signed EDMs. In Birmingham, the MPs that have signed their support for the EDM so far are: •
Roger Godsiff, Sparkbrook and Small Heath
Clare Short, Ladywood
Lynne Jones, Selly Oak
John Hemming, Yardley
Richard Burden, Northfield
Signing this parliamentary petition shows the MPs’ concern over the damaging impacts of Britain’s intensive meat and dairy system. This is great news for the Food Chain Campaign. Our globalised food system is failing fundamentally. It requires ever-growing quantities of land, water, energy and chemical inputs to produce the food we eat. This is particularly true of intensive livestock production. Factory farming for meat and dairy is at the heart of a hidden chain that links the food on our plates to rainforest destruction in South America. To make animals grow quickly and produce high yields, animals in factory farms are being
pumped full of imported soy crops – creating demand for vast plantations that are wiping out forests and forcing communities off their lands in South America. If current trends continue, soy farmers and cattle ranchers alone will destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest by 2040.
Our globalised food system is failing fundamentally. It requires evergrowing quantities of land, water, energy and chemical inputs to produce the food we eat.
but the Government needs to change the system. If EDM 845 continues to rise up the charts then Government is more likely to act. MPs listen when thousands of their voters get behind our campaigns - so please ask your MP to sign EDM 845 today. Over the summer we will be running exciting events to get you and the people of Birmingham to put further pressure on the MPs of Birmingham, and help the EDM get closer to the number one spot, so check out the website and blog www. birminghamfoe.org.uk and click on Food and Local shops for updates on the campaign.
Over the summer we will be running exciting events to get you and the people of Birmingham to put further pressure on the MPs of Birmingham...
This global system is not working for farmers in the UK. With commodity price rises, farmers have seen the cost of animal feed and other inputs increase. The price of fertiliser grew by 156 per cent in the last year. The cost of chicken feed has risen by £80/tonne in the same period. Pig farmers have been hit by volatile feed costs and the UK pork sector has already seen its market share shrink as a result. Planet-friendly farming is possible,
Time for Better Buses in Birmingham Birmingham Friends of the Earth and West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport have launched a joint campaign to lobby for improvements to the bus service in Birmingham and the West Midlands conurbation. The campaign has been launched following Councillor Len Gregory’s decision to remove bus lanes along the Tyburn Road in Birmingham. Gregory’s decision, after dithering following a consultation exercise that was undertaken three years ago, is a retrograde step that threatens millions of pounds of funding for improvements to public transport in the city.
The suspension was only ever going to be a “temporary” exercise whilst major roadworks were completed The bus lanes on Tyburn Road were originally suspended in 2004. The suspension was only ever going to be a “temporary” exercise whilst major roadworks were completed on the M6 during the summer of 2004. These roadworks were completed on time, however rather than re-instating the bus
lanes Gregory decided to suspend them. Birmingham Friends of the Earth and WMCBT, together with Bus Users UK (a pressure group that represents bus passengers) worked during the early part of 2005 to collate a petition from bus passengers on the 67 route (the main service using Tyburn Road) calling for the bus lanes to be reinstated. Over 2,000 passengers signed the petition, which was presented to Birmingham City Council in Spring 2005. The petition led to a consultation exercise looking at future traffic management options along the Tyburn Road, and the Council launching a scrutiny review of bus services in Birmingham which reported in 2007. This scrutiny review concluded that there needed to be better “partnership” working between the different agencies that operated bus services, and that there needed to be a dramatic improvement in the quality of bus services in Birmingham which were felt to be not satisfactory enough to get people out of their cars. The Tyburn Road consultation was carried out in Autumn 2006. WMCBT and our partners worked hard to get the consultation questionnaires out to bus users on the 67. In press reports on his decision on the Tyburn Road bus lanes, Gregory has claimed “unanimous” public support for their removal, but the reality is far different. WMCBT made a Freedom of Information (FoI) Act request for
a copy of the consultation report; whilst there was a majority in favour of the removal of the bus lanes it could hardly be considered to be “unanimous”. 51% of those who responded (mainly car drivers) supported their removal, whilst 49% of the sample (mainly bus passengers) supported one of the options which would have allowed their retention. Meanwhile progress on improvements to services in the city has been slow. There has been a project to provide improved information at bus stops, and Real Time Information displays have been installed on a number of routes. Some “partnership” routes have also been launched but these have not been on the main routes used by thousands of passengers every day. However, the key performance indicator for bus services is “punctuality” – i.e. the bus turning up when it is advertised to. Performance has been woeful. Figures released to WMCBT (again under the FoI Act) showed that the percentage of buses running less than one minute early or five minutes late is no better now than it was five years ago. The target for 2007/08 (the most recent year for which figures are available) was 69%, but only 60% of services met the punctuality standard. At this rate of progress it is unlikely that the target for 2010/11 of 81% of services being less than 1 minute early or 5 minutes late will be
met. Taking out bus lanes seems a strange way of boosting the performance of the punctuality of the city’s bus services. The Tyburn Road scheme was to be one of the Council’s flagship public transport projects, and was to set a benchmark for improvements to other bus routes around Birmingham. The city spent hundreds of thousands of pounds putting in bus lanes; now it is to spend more money taking them out. The impression this gives ministers (and indeed local council tax-payers) is that the council does not know what it is doing. Indeed, decisions by the Dept for Transport to refuse money for transport projects in the West Midlands, such as the planned Metro extensions, may have been based on the Council’s failure to manage the Tyburn Road project effectively. Passengers, meanwhile, remain deeply unhappy about the standard of their bus services. National Express West Midlands along with its competitors pushed through an inflation busting fares rise just before Christmas. This led to more than 7,000 users joining a group on Facebook earlier this year calling on the operator National Express West Midlands to lower the fares. It is clear that city bus passengers have had enough of “Second Class Fare”. It is time real improvements were delivered to Birmingham’s bus services. Kevin Chapman, West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport
Better Buses - Can you help? We are looking for volunteers who can donate some time to assist in a leafleting campaign. A leaflet has been devised for the “Second Class Fare” campaign with an insert letter to be sent to Cllr Gary Clarke, Chairman of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, which is responsible for promoting and improving public transport.
I would like people to help in leafleting passengers at bus stops in the city centre, and getting them to sign the letters so we can present them to Cllr Clarke at the AGM of WMITA in June. If you could help, ring (0121) 440 7092 (evenings please) or E-Mail kevin_chapman@brum12. demon.co.uk
Feeling All Powered Up! I’d heard a lot about Power Up from various people. They told we it was great. They told me that I’d learn everything I ever needed to know about planning issues. To be honest, spending a weekend learning about planning didn’t sound all that great to me, but I was very wrong. When I arrived at Harborne Hall, where Power Up was taking place, I heard that one of the FoE staff members had been thrown out of the previous session for causing trouble; it was starting to sound more interesting already. It turned out that the session had been a mock council planning meeting and he had been playing a local resident objecting to the proposal. It very much set the tone for the weekend, with lively and interesting discussions and workshops with
some extremely passionate campaigners from around the country. The next morning we were taken on a magical mystery tour of Digbeth and Birmingham city centre to illustrate how planning had shaped the city. Despite living here for 8 months now, I learned things I never knew; like how New Street became pedestrianised, why Moor Street station has only 2 working platforms and why some of the buildings in Digbeth stand empty. It was an eye-opening experience that really demonstrated the power of council planning to make or break an area. The rest of the day was taken up talking about the real nitty-gritty of objecting to planning proposals and three major things stood out to me:
Most decisions about housing and major infrastructure are made at a regional level, long before local people are notified
Most decisions about housing and major infrastructure are made at a regional level, long before local people are notified that a new incinerator is going to built on their doorstep. So if you care about this sort of thing, get involved in consulting on the Core Strategy (www.tinyurl.com/r4wrka) There is specific planning policy that can be used to argue against planning applications on environmental and sustainability grounds You can get a lot of information about planning proposals from your council through Freedom of Information Requests, and there are plenty of ways to stop them wriggling out of it. The workshops went into quite some detail about all this, so much
so that I felt I was getting a lot more than I had paid for to attend. I didn’t need to be told that I was being trained by experts, it was obvious to everyone there that these guys knew their stuff. The very final session of the weekend really summed up the whole event for me. Everyone was asked to pick an object, animal or word that described how they felt about things. One person said they felt like a hippo, as they were bloated with all the new knowledge they had acquired; another person described themselves as Tigger, as they felt so energised and ready to go. The object I chose was a light bulb (an energy saving one of course) as it felt like one had been turned on in my head. Power Up showed me that I really can have an influence in what happens to my community and gave me the tools to do it. But even if you didn’t make it to Power Up, many of those tools are available to you too! If you’re fighting a planning application, want to find out how to make a freedom of information request or you’re interested in finding out your rights to help shape your area, have a look at the Community Rights Resource Pack, which you can find at www.tinyurl. com/q5wgbu. It’s an amazing resource and essential reading for anyone that wants to change their community for the better. Ben Martin
How Serious Should Local Authorities Get? Although such actions are commendable, nationwide, the problem of local authority inactivity is two-fold. Firstly, some local authorities have done and continue to do more than others to tackle climate change. Secondly, despite acknowledging that climate change is happening, setting a carbon budget and producing policies to tackle it at the local level, there is a real danger that local authorities do not really know how they are going to meet the challenge or are simply not doing enough with no sanctions for failure. Part of the problem may be that some of the key decision makers in local authorities are closet climate change doubters and this ultimately affects the decisions made in certain key make-or-break areas for climate change, such as energy and transport.
There is a real danger that local authorities do not really know how they are going to meet the challenge or are simply not doing enough with no sanctions for failure.
Continued from front page
The Get Serious Campaign With the 2008 Climate Change Act making the UK the subject of a carbon budget, set by the government acting on the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, local authorities must play a vital role in ensuring that the target is met and put pressure on the government to introduce more stringent targets in the future. Creating some a continuity of effort across all local authorities is therefore essential. With this in mind, the Get Serious campaign calls on councils to: 1.
Commit to cutting carbon emissions in their area by at least 40% by 2020 and produce action plans to show how this will happen; Support the creation of a new duty from national government which will legally oblige councils to reduce their emissions by 40% by 2020 with more central government funding to enable them to reach this target.
The campaign goes further than merely setting objectives, it also offers local authorities a clear strategy which, if followed, will result in the creation of a policy to effectively reduce their carbon output. This 6 stage process involves: 1.
Establishing robust baseline data on CO2 emissions within the area covered by the local authority;
Generating policy options within 3 key sectors - housing, energy and transport;
Considering the policy options against the social and economic impacts of the policy options proposed;
Publication of an action plan to tackle climate change which clearly identities delivery partners; and
Implementation of the strategy combined with;
Effective monitoring and review of the policy.
Priorities In terms of the practical application of the strategy, the campaign identifies 3 key areas of application for local authorities â€“ housing, energy and transport. Tackling climate change will mean using energy more efficiently and using less of it. This means insulting local authority housing stock and making grants available to home-owners so they can insulate their own homes. It will mean retrofitting renewable energy systems into homes and providing grants to encourage individuals to use renewable energy to heat their homes. It will mean adopting sustainable planning strategies, working with energy suppliers and creating new transport schemes. In short, there is a lot of work for local authorities to do and, more
importantly, there is so much that they can do given the powers they have been given by government. The campaign literature will point out areas where local authorities can make a real difference by, for example, introducing an interest free loan for home owners so they can fit carbon cutting heating systems in their homes or install a wind turbine. The loan would only be paid back once their property is sold. Such a measure promotes innovation and encourages use of new technology which, in turn, reduces the supply and installation cost of that technology. It should therefore be made clear to all councils that the 2008 Climate Change Act is nothing without local authority involvement.
...the 2008 Climate Change Act is nothing without local authority involvement. Clearly some local authorities have already been involved in projects which have lead to a reduction in their carbon output. Southampton City Councilâ€™s partnership with Utilicom, an energy management company, created the Southampton
How Serious Should Local Authorities Get? Geothermal Heating Company which has financed, developed and constructed a district heating scheme which has also been supplemented by a combined heat and power (CHP) scheme which now supplies electricity to public buildings and private developments. Birmingham City Council has a similar CHP scheme operating which supplies heat to most of the council’s buildings in the vicinity of Broad Street and one hotel.
Diagram demonstrating the difference between CHP and an ordinary power plant.
Since some local authorities have made inroads by introducing carbon cutting projects, the campaign will have to lobby local authorities for a firm commitment and the adoption of a uniform approach across all local councils thoughout the UK.
Continued from page 13
Birmingham City Council National Friends of the Earth have produced text for a postcard campaign to lobby local councils to commit themselves to the campaign aims. Although the text is not yet finalised, it will be up to local groups to decide how they wish to implement the campaign. Birmingham Friends of the Earth has been involved for some time in persuading Birmingham City Council to cut its carbon output. This has lead to the council’s adoption of a 60% emission cut by 2026.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth has been involved for some time in persuading Birmingham City Council to cut its carbon output. This has lead to the council’s adoption of a 60% emission cut by 2026. The main issue for Birmingham City Council is whether it will in fact honour this commitment by implementing practical measures
to tackle climate change at a time when it is also trying to weather the recession. Despite the fact that it will be more costly to ignore climate change, Birmingham City Council may prefer to be seen protecting jobs and the local economy rather than focusing on climate change. It is not yet clear how the campaign will be implemented in Birmingham. It may be better to focus in on key areas such as transport and then lobby the council to make a commitment to act in these areas. It may also be useful to focus on the economy to engage the public. A key focus of the campaign in Birmingham might well be to convince Birmingham City Council that implementing further carbon cutting measures will lead to job creation.
Cutting carbon emissions means encouraging an innovative approach so a focus on job creation and green innovation may well be the best way to convince Birmingham City Council
Cutting carbon emissions means encouraging an innovative approach, so a focus on job creation and green innovation may well be the best way to convince Birmingham City Council to do more to tackle climate change. Melanie Brookes
Man installing cavity wall insulation.
By Hester Enthoven, Birmingham Stop Climate Chaos Stop Climate Chaos Friends of the Earth are part of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition (SCC); an 11 million strong alliance of committed supporters, campaigners, hearts, minds and voices of more than 100 organisations, from faith groups and women’s groups to environmental and development organisations. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is organising the march in London on Saturday 5th December before the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen at which world leaders will decide how to tackle global warming. We want the UK Government to: •
Quit Dirty Coal: End our reliance on dirty coal power, and instead boost the UK’s renewable energy supply to help build a green economy and create new jobs. www. stopclimatechaos.org/quit-dirtycoal Protect the Poorest: Provide resources to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people adapt to climate change. www.stopclimatechaos.org/ protect-the-poorest Act Fair & Fast: Deliver a fair global deal in Copenhagen that keeps global warming under two degrees Celsius. www. stopclimatechaos.org/act-fairand-fast
SCC in Birmingham From June until December the coalition members will be organising BLUE events to raise awareness of the march, (blue is our theme to evoke both the impacts of climate change and the idea of a ‘wave’ of positive change). For more information about SCC please go to www.stopclimatechaos.org/. If you are interested in knowing more about SCC in Birmingham please get in touch with Hester Enthoven at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 634 3611. 2009 is the year we can put things right; so vote with your feet and march with us in London on 5 December.
...so vote with your feet and march with us in London on 5 December.
10th Organic Beer Festival & Barbecue One of the favourite haunts of the Birmingham Friends of the Earth Monday night campaigners is The Anchor, Rea St, Digbeth. We are again lucky enough to be invited to support their 10th Organic Beer Festival and will be running alongside it an Organic Barbecue on Saturday 25th July.
A big problem with this is that according to European legislation these additives, along with the other ingredients, do not need to be declared on the label unless the drink contains less than 1.2% alcohol. Basically your pint has been chemically altered and you don’t know what you’re drinking.
Ten years ago The Anchor held the first organic beer festival in the UK and now it’s well established on the Midlands beer festival calendar. The Anchor, dating back over 200 years, is a popular real ale pub in Birmingham and is the 4 times winner of the Camra pub of the Year for Birmingham.
Whereas organic beer is made in small batches from only organically grown barley, malt, wheat, hops, yeast and spring water. There are neither additives nor geneticallymodified ingredients; everything grows as nature intended, giving a purer, more wholesome taste.
Gerry Keane of The Anchor said: “Over the years I have been amazed by the interest in the Organic Beer Festival, not only from the punters but also from the brewers themselves. This year we’re hoping to have 20+ beers from all over the country.” Why drink organic beer? If you look at the average pint of beer served up in the UK, its not so perfect. The hops used in the fermentation of beer are estimated to be sprayed up to 14 times each year with around 15 different pesticide products. In addition to that, countless additives are added to create the ‘perfect pint’, ensuring that it has a nice colour and flavour, a decent head and a profitable shelf life.
Mary Horesh, Joint Campaigns Coordinator for Birmingham Friends of the Earth, is looking forward to the barbecue: “Getting to the tenth year of the festival just shows how the mood of the country is changing. Ten years ago this was the only organic beer festival and now you can pick up organic beer at lots of festivals and events. It shows how people are becoming more aware of what they eat and drink and what effects it has on the environment around them.” So please come and support us on the 25th July for an organic barbecue and the beer festival will run from 23rd-27th July http:// www.anchorinndigbeth.co.uk/. 1.http://www.beerexpert.co.uk/ organic-beer.html Mary Horesh
Environmental Justice Along with organising the brilliant Power Up (see page 10), which enables people to be Davids against developer/ state Goliaths, Friends of the Earth (FoE) has a recent history of ‘environmental justice’ activities. Those most disadvantaged often suffer the worst environmental conditions and are often also the least empowered to fight back against the systems that affect them. Unempowered people helpfully save industries the costs of environmental responsibility. Any objectors can be silenced with threats of job losses, steamrollered by legal and planning complexities, baffled with terminology or left uninformed of vital information. This affects people in developing countries where industrialisation to supply our goods has outpaced environmental regulations (e.g. FoE’s work in Nigeria) or where, by unhappy geographical coincidence, the worst of climate change is felt (sea level rise in Bangladesh). There is also environmental injustice in the UK. A Birmingham Airport public relations booklet some years ago stated a policy not to overfly some coincidentally affluent outlying villages; the more deprived areas would generate fewer objections. Environment Agency data shows that Birmingham’s most deprived wards have the highest pollution rates. Teesside is one of the UK’s most
polluted places. Factory alarms sound regularly signifying leaks and explosions with no explanation given to local people. After an incident, roads are cordoned off to stop people coming in – but those who live there are not evacuated. FoE worked with the local communities to alert them to their planning and legal rights. No guarantee they will win, but at least they have the same expertise that’s available in a wealthier community; and FoE learned from them, too. FoE runs a similar project in East London.
more jobs - is all part of providing people with tools and options.
This is what makes FoE relevant in today’s world. It is what links national “targets” campaigning and individuals’ lives
I’m looking forward to finding out what FoE’s next environmental justice activities will be. I’ll keep you posted... Karen Leach Teesside film: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=EmiQIbw0Vw8
Any objectors can be silenced with threats of job losses, steamrollered by legal and planning complexities, baffled with terminology or left uninformed of vital information.
Power Up and similar work helps people to stand up to powerful interests, but proposing positive development is important too. Showing how cleaner industry and trade can generate jobs - sometimes
This is what makes FoE relevant in today’s world. It is what links national “targets” campaigning and individuals’ lives; it’s why the local and regional campaigns matter. There is obviously a place for ‘Facebook campaigning’, but as an organisation that has always enabled local groups to work on local issues, FoE is crucially placed to continue supporting the most affected.
Heavy industry in Teeside by Anth B
Volunteer Spotlight Ben Martin interviews Serafim Bakalis
the University of Birmingham I am trying to provide long term solutions to some environmental problems, but I felt that it was not enough and that some contributions towards short term solutions, with an impact on the local community, was required.
Monday Night Meetings – 7:30pm at the Birmingham FoE Warehouse, Allison St 1 June – General Meeting 8 June – BFoE Annual General Meeting 15 June – Get Serious Campaign Action Group
What do you do at BFoE?
22 June – Food and Transport Action Groups
As I have only recently joined, not very much. I try to help with petitions, contribute to discussions, do research when required… but hopefully more in the near future.
29 June – Stop Climate Chaos Action Group 6 July – General Meeting 9 July – Strategy Meeting
What is the best thing about BFoE?
How long have you been involved with BFoE? Since January 2009 (it does not seem that long) How did you first find out about BFoE and what made you decide to get involved? I have always had an interest in environmental issues and realised that I could contribute towards a solution. Through my work at
13 July – Transport and Get Serious Action Group Meetings 20 July – Local Shops & Food and Stop Climate Chaos Action Groups
They are a friendly bunch of people that care about the world.
27 July – Discussion meeting (Topic TBA)
What do you think is the most important environmental issue and why?
The fact that we have not realised that the Earth has limited resources. Greed will effectively cause irreversible damage to the Earth
5-6 June – Sutton Coldfield Climate Change Festival
What’s your best green tip?
25 July – 10th Annual Organic Barbeque, The Anchor Inn, Digbeth
Think before you act…
7 June – Water for Life Festival, 11am-5pm, Cannon Hill Park 10 June – Launch Pad - get up to speed with BFoE campaigns at The Warehouse
Bearwood: 3rd Saturday of the month 9am-4pm Birmingham University: 4th Wednesday of the month 9am-2pm
ANY OLD LIGHTBULBS? - WE ARE COLLECTING THEM AT BFoE! If you or anybody you know is swapping their lightbulbs with energy saving ones, then please could you get them to give us the old ones.
Harborne: 2nd Saturday of the month 9am-2pm Kings Heath: 1st Saturday of the month 9am-3:30pm
They will be turned into chandaliers for the lights in reception and put forward as a way of recycling and energy saving.
Kings Norton: 2nd Saturday of the month 9am-2pm Moseley: 4th Saturday of the month 9am-3pm New Street: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 10am-4pm Solihull: 1st Friday of the month 9am-5pm
Phil Burrows (General Manager)
Sutton Coldfield: 2nd Friday of the month 9am-3pm
Become a Supporter... We are the only organisation in Birmingham that campaigns on Climate Change, Transport, Local Shops, Planning, Waste and Recycling. You can help us do this in a number of ways; 1.) By taking part in or our campaigns 2.) By joining us 3.) Both Whichever route you decide, you are helping to change your environment for the better. Making sure that those who pollute, monopolise or despoil locally, nationally or internationally are accountable. There are two ways to join us...
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Signature: ...................... Date: .........
Campaigns at a local level to effect environmental change (in ways which feed into national and international policy) through: - Direct action - Lobbying - Education
Waste and Resources: Local Shops & Food: Mary Horesh & Nigel Baker Planning: Transport: Martin Stride Newsletter Editors: Katy Barry Phil Burrows Website Editor: Phil Burrows Talks: Paul Webb and others All enquiries and callers welcome.
- Empowering others to take action
Find us on page 74 of the B’ham
- Participation and representation through public fora
A-Z, grid ref: 4A
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Birmingham Friends of the Earth