Reading Friends of the Earth

Our Latest Newsletter is available on this link. Other recent newsletters are available from this page.

Website migration: this website is not 'secure' so we are in progress of moving to https://www.readingfoe.co.uk. If you cannot find what you want here please try our new site which is under development.

Reading FoE Meetings: We usually meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.. Either in a bar in Reading or in Room 1 upstairs at RISC, 35-39 London Street, to which access is via side passage from the front to the back of the building. Most meetings discuss plans and general topics, some have a particular focus or guest speakers. Meetings are open to all. We have recently gone to 'hybrid' meetings - in person and on Zoom - so if you would like a Zoom link please contact us.

We continue to monitor Covid risks, regulations, and guidance. Meetings may be cancelled or go on-line-only at short notice due to Covid or availability of group officers. We suggest you check this website on the day for changes of plan - or phone or e-mail for confirmation (contacts in Newsletter).

10th January 2024 Group meeting at RISC at 19:30 plus 'hybrid' on Zoom. Presentation from River Action on pollution in rivers starting about 20:00. Also discussion of RBC consultations on Air Quality and changes to the Local Plan. More details in newsletter.

14th February 2024 We will meet on Zoom at 19:30 and plan for this to be a hybrid meeting using Zoom (in person location to be arranged). We will make plans for spring and summer activities.

***********************************************************************

Reading For Warm Homes - Please sign our petition! - about 150 signatures already!

National target date for presentation to MPs was 18th November but we decided to increase numbers before presentation to MPs.

We held a launch event in Reading Town Square on 3rd December 2022. We aim to unite communities and organisations across the area towards a common goal: warm homes that do not cost the Earth.

Campaigners are urging the government to support the needy, roll out a major national programme to fix all the UKs poorly insulated homes, and scale up the production of cheap, popular clean energy.

To access our Leaflet for distribution with information about help with warm homes and a link to the petition to Reading's two MPs go to http://readingfoe.org.uk/links.

Please contact us at rfwh"at"readingfoe.org.uk to join the campaign for short-term and longer-term solutions for high energy prices. This winter must not be like last winter!

***********************************************************************

Our Links Page with Links to other groups and web-pages and carbon footprint and air quality calculators is at http://readingfoe.org.uk/links.

Our Admin page with privacy policy, constitution, 'Charter' agreement with national FoE etc. is available on this link.

Contact us at info"at"readingfoe.org.uk

Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN) website is www.gren.org.uk

***********************************************************************

Reading's Transport Strategy Revision

Consultation on revision of strategy to 2040 closed on 11th December 2023 so now we await a revised version from RBC.

A note from Reading FoE was sent to the SEPT committee in February 2019 calling for the consultation on the Transport Plan to include simulations of different scenarios to show how the proposals would address climate change, air quality and congestion. This note is on this link

Our comments in 2010 on Reading's draft Local Transport Plan (LTP3) are on this link

A document dating from 2008 discussing the then proposed (and now abandoned) change to a one-way IDR is on this link

***********************************************************************

Reading Climate Festival 2023 ran from 10th to 21st June. We gave an on-line presentation on our Reading for Warm Homes campaign.

***********************************************************************

Reading Climate Festival 2022 ran from 24th September to 2nd October 2022. Once again good on-line events and some in-person events. See everything on this link.Unfortunately recordings are not yet available.

Two Reading FoE supporters took part in a webinar on energy saving in the home.

***********************************************************************

Reading Climate Festival 2021 ran from 20th to 26th September 2021 with lots of informative on-line events and some in-person events.

Reading FoE sponsored two events - links to recordings now available.

Tuesday 21st September at 16:00 - Dr Eugene Mohareb UoR -

  • How Cities Can Help Shrink the Carbon Footprint of Food? Video recording on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo54Ehn-H2M
  • Friday 24th November 18:30 - Dr Phil Coker UoR -

  • Should your next car be electric and will it melt the grid? Video recording on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SmhzcUIOho
  • ***********************************************************************

    Reading's Climate Emergency Declaration was in February 2019

    Reading Borough Council celebrated the second anniversary of its Climate Emergency Declaration on 26th February 2021. Reading Chronicle took up our Press Release with inputs from other groups to produce this report.

    ***********************************************************************

    Reading Climate Festival 2020 ran from 9th to 15th November with lots of informative on-line events.

    Reading FoE sponsored two events - links to slides are below.

    Why Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage is Essential to Net Zero. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage is essential to preventing catastrophic climate change and predicts it providing 9% of emissions reductions required for Net Zero by 2050.
    Local expert Suzie Ferguson presented the fundamentals of the technology and why it is needed and described active programmes in UK.

    Local Transport: Climate Change, Clean Air, and Congestion. A review of Readings emerging fourth Local Transport Strategy with reference to Transport for the South East's Strategy, and the governments Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
    Are there environmental limits to traffic growth? How can we make the polluters pay? John Booth for Reading Friends of the Earth.

    ***********************************************************************

    Our Campaign against M4 Widening web-page is www.readingfoe.org.uk/m4. After the Public Examination in 2016 the government gave permission for this to go ahead. Official projections to the Examination were that traffic would rise resulting in slower journeys and more CO2 emissions.

    New concerns over safety of 'All Lane Running' have arisen after some nasty accidents on other 'Smart Motorways' - see March-April 2021 newsletter for more details. Our local section - J8/9 to J12 - is now open. This was expected in 'spring 2021' but was postponed until 'Stopped Vehicle Detection' had been implemented.

    A presentation dating from 2016 giving a summary of impacts on safety, climate change, congestion, air quality and noise is at Impacts of Smart M4.

    ***********************************************************************

    Recycling at Home

    Reading's recycling is done by re3, and food waste collection is being rolled out from February 2021. The first stop for local guidance is https://re3.fccenvironment.co.uk/.

    ***********************************************************************

    Clean Air Everywhere - In Reading.

    Our "Clean Air Everywhere - In Reading" petition was presented to the Council on November 22nd 2017 at the SEPT Committee Meeting by Enrico Petrucco. By the meeting we had accrued over 400 signatures - around 250 on paper and 150 on-line. Thanks to everyone who signed, helped to collect signatures, and came to support us at the meeting.

    The Council has responded that it would like to introduce a Low Emission Zone, but must await government funding. Detailed response is available on this link

    Our Press Release about the presentation, with pictures and a link to the video coverage, is at Petition_Presentation_to_Cllrs_PR.

    The speaker's notes for the presentation are at SEPT Presentation notes.

    Following government intervention, seeking conformance with EU legal requirements, in October 2018 the Council has said it will be funded to upgrade its buses to Euro VI standard and expects to comply with EU standards for NO2 by end 2021.

    In November 2018 we asked a Question at the SEPT Committee - reminding the Council of our petition and asking about PM2.5. The Council said that it estimated that in one location PM2.5 concentration was about 60% above WHO guidelines, and that it would publish a revised draft Local Transport Plan in 2019. See our January 2019 newsletter

    In November 2019 we asked a Question at the SEPT Committee - reminding the Council of our petition and asking about health impacts of PM2.5. The Council said that it estimated that in 2016 particulates had contributed to 63 deaths in Reading, and that it would review its Air Quality Action Plan in 2020. See SEPT Papers

    Local Air Quality exceeding WHO guidelines was the subject of our Questions to Strategic Environment Planning and Transport Committee on 16th November 2021. For details see our Press Release.

    ***********************************************************************

    Green Jobs Flashmob

    We had good local press coverage for our Flashmob for Green Jobs on Saturday 13th October 2012 - many thanks to everyone who braved the rain and especially to the Greenpeace Polar Bear who really helped to get attention from press and public! Doug's great video - with sound-track from Seize the Day - can be seen on this link.

    Here is a still (Photo: Anne Booth) of the bear calmly putting the case against the Chancellor's proposals to continue to burn unabated gas until 2030 and to give tax breaks to 'fracking' for natural gas extraction.

    ***********************************************************************