Monday, 20 December 2010

Climate change, local communities and real ale...

I was intrigued to read Chris Huhne's comment that "...even the Women's Institutes has better rules" than the UN when it comes to their negotiating procedures when he discussed the Climate Change Conference in Cancun last week. When it comes to the UN's organisational skills, I sincerely hope that they were better in Cancun this year than they were in Copenhagen last year. I was refused entry to the Climate Change talks last year with the entrance in sight, which was not something that endears one to the UN's power of organisation. At the time it was obvious to me that the WI could have and would have arranged that event much more efficiently so it’s interesting to hear Chris Huhne echoing me earlier thoughts! I also attended the previous talks in Poznan in 2008 so know a little of how things work, although the WI was not at this year’s talks despite that fact that women's roles in finding solutions to the changed climate remain important to the organisation. We must all continually strive to make a difference every day through environmentally friendly actions at home, in our local communities and in our wider actions at every level.

Another area of interest in December is The Sustainable Communities Act, originally put forward by Nick Hurd MP, which is now on the statute book. The Act was celebrated last week with a reception for its many adherents and those who worked so tirelessly on the Bill focusing on communities and how they can have more of a say in how they are run. Ron Bailey and Steve Shaw of Local Works deserve a special mention here; I met them both when speaking on behalf of the WI in the big push to put people at the heart of governance through the aforementioned Bill. David Cameron, while he was still an MP, made special reference to the uniqueness of the the WI and the Campaign for Real Ale speaking on the same platform and thus, surely, making the Sustainable Communities Bill one that should be accepted by all.

It might have been unique but since then a WI Real Ale has been produced – you can read all about it in the current edition of WI Life!

And now I raise a glass of the Harmston Heavenly to all you blog watchers; thank you for reading the musings and goings-on of the WI in the last few months. Happy Christmas to you all!