Sheffield MP and shadow minister to host summit after ‘Nature emergency’ is declared in Sheffield

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Organisations across the city, including Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Friends of the Earth and South Yorkshire Climate Alliance, have declared a Sheffield nature emergency this week.

The declaration comes ahead of a summit on the subject, which will be held by Sheffield Hallam Labour MP Olivia Blake, the newly chosen Shadow Minister for Nature, Water, and Flooding.

The event will focus on the air pollution levels in the city and the ‘degradation of natural heritage’ – which focuses on the fact that one in seven native British specied are at risk of extinction.

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Olivia Blake MP said: “We’re living through a climate and ecological emergency that will affect every part of the globe, and I welcome the declaration of a Nature Emergency by organisations and individuals from across our city.

Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake has been appointed as Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding.Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake has been appointed as Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding.
Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake has been appointed as Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding.

“I am really excited that my new role as Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding will enable me to sound the alarm at a national level, championing the love of the natural world that so many in our city share.

“We need to be bold and ambitious, but also articulate concrete steps that will rescue our natural world. Sheffield can lead in reversing the emergency and delivering Nature Recovery.

“I want to hear the views of stakeholders and the public on how our city can work together to tackle this crisis and what we need from the UK Government to do just that.”

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The summit will be a meeting with stakeholders, inviting those organisations that have declared a nature emergency, so that Sheffield can lead the way in addressing the ecological crisis.

The Shadow Minister has been speaking to the Council about how their revitalised interim committee structures can trial setting policy to solve the ecological emergency.

Cllr. Terry Fox, newly-elected Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield has a fantastic landscape, full of nature that's tragically at risk and in decline. This is an opportunity to test our new way of working through the Council’s transitional committees. We want to hear the public’s views on this critical issue.

“This is an exciting time for our local democracy in Sheffield and I’m really looking forward to working with partners and through our democratic process on this issue, and ensuring Sheffield leads the way in tackling the nature emergency.

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“I am pleased to be engaging with the Shadow Ministers Nature Emergency Summit.”

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust helped coordinate the declaration of a nature emergency in Sheffield.

Liz Ballard, Chief Executive, said: "We really welcome this announcement today as we declare a Nature Emergency in Sheffield.”

“Through our joint campaigning with other organisations as Nature Recovery Sheffield we have had over 1000 sign-ups, including 35 groups who have all joined us in the declaration today, highlighting the strength of feeling for nature.”

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“We will be very pleased to be involved and look forward to working with all the stakeholders to start taking more action for nature's recovery."

And Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region Mayor, added: “This summit will help to bring home to people that the natural crisis we face is not some abstract global problem but a direct threat to the environment we live in day to day.”