Last week I spent an hour in a cramped Chinese restaurant at a Striding Out networking event listening to a pretty decent group of speakers discuss “Business Trends for 2009”. Not one speaker, including Cllr Warren Bradley, mentioned environmental issues within their spiel. Bit strange, especially considering we’re at the start of February and we know precious little about the sequel themed year to follow the hugely succesful European Captial of Culture 2008.
I’m not expecting a year of ‘green’ razzamatazz but some leadership would be appreciated. For those not lucky enough to have travelled through our wonderful city recently you will have missed the appearance of the huge wind turbines along the river front. Fantastic!!! Peel Energy / Holdings are to be applauded for their investment and I sincerely hope that it’s a profitable venture. How many cities can boast four 80m high turbines less than a mile from the centre? It for once demonstrates vision, not overly commonplace historically with Liverpool or anybody involved with planning permission for that matter.
Where is the rest of the ‘Year of Environment’? It’s now February so are we having an 11 month year for this campaign? Liverpool has a fair distance to catch up. The last two years have seen Liverpool finish bottom and next to bottom out of twenty in Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Cities Index. Liverpool is by its nature a competitive city so lets use that to our advantage. Maybe it’s just me, but I see that as an opportunity. Why can’t we be publicly honest and put our hands up and say ‘Okay we’ve not achieved (I don’t care about the reason why) in the past but our targets have now been set high and we want to be the best!’?
It was October last year when the Liverpool Echo produced a list of green themed events but there has been precious little else since. A quick Google search shows Adrian McEwen’s McFilter coming top of the ranking if you look for ‘Liverpool Year of the Environment’. Without wanting to be disrespectful in anyway to Adrian’s endeavours but surely by now there should be a higher profile media presence, public and commercial awareness?
I’m not expecting the Local Authority to drive this alone, or even expect any of their environmental partners to fly the flag. We all have a responsibility to play our part regardless of a themed year or where you live or work.
Can we please grasp this opportunity to maintain the momentum of Capital of Culture and direct that energy into a better place for our children and grandchildren?
I did ask Cllr Bradley (et al) why the environment was omitted from his speech on Business Trends and his apologetic answer didn’t exactly fill me with hope of following 2008 with a bang.
What are you doing this year?