About

Who we are

The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) is a coalition of local environmental, community and faith groups from the South East of England uniting for urgent action on climate change.  It acts as an informal umbrella group and has been set up to share ideas and coordinate action.

Groups affiliated with SECA remain autonomous and will continue to take their own decisions. Some will adopt traditional community organising approaches; others may prefer a non-violent direct action approach, as is being championed by the Extinction Rebellion movement.  SECA is not responsible for the actions of its individual member groups, nor is it affiliated to any political party. We have pledged to take a deliberately cross-party approach in our campaigning as we believe that the issue of climate change goes way beyond party politics.

Origins

SECA was set up in February 2019, following a ‘SOS Climate Emergency Day’ meeting in Horsham attended by over 120 people from 14 environmental groups across Sussex and Surrey. Between the groups present, we could cite many examples of thriving green initiatives – from repair cafés to solar schools.  Yet there was a widespread feeling of frustration that the current overall response to climate change just does not match the scale and urgency of the climate threat.

The room was packed for our inaugural meeting – we had to change venue three times to find a big enough room to meet in!

We decided to join forces to address this and agreed that our first focus should be a campaign to urge District and County Councils across the region to ‘Declare a Climate Emergency’.  We used local government elections on May 2nd 2019 as an initial rallying point and mounted a big letter writing and lobbying campaign to encourage candidates to pledge their support for a Climate Emergency declaration if they were elected.  Here’s a list of candidates who pledged their support and won seats. They were spread across all four main parties, a good sign that climate change will be addressed as a cross-party issue.

Our focus

With the May elections behind us, and the majority of councils on the Southeast having now declared a climate emergency, or passed a meaningful climate motion, the focus of our efforts is evolving.  We have decided to concentrate in two main areas:

1. Keeping up pressure on councils for climate action: Having declared emergencies it is now crucial that councils turn their words into action. We think that SECA can help this process by keeping an overview of what’s happening in councils in the South East, and supporting ongoing lobbying of local councils by our member groups.  Ideas raised included tracking council actions, showcasing good practice and innovative ideas, creating a lobbying toolkit for SECA member groups, organising training and workshops, and coordinating media campaigns. When engaging with councils, in some cases a trusted partner or ‘critical friend’ role will be most effective;  in others, more of a watchdog role may be needed. We will play this by ear, depending on the local situation.

2. Building on the network we’ve created: The Alliance has grown from 14 members at the outset to more than sixty member groups. This strength in numbers is probably our biggest asset.  Many member groups have commented how they feel emboldened by being part of a wider network with similar aims. We will be looking for ways to help SECA members link up, share ideas, and be more effective together in catalysing climate action.

Member organisations

SECA is made up of environmental, community and faith groups from across Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, plus some national supporters. Current membership includes:

Click on the organisation names to link through to their websites or Facebook pages.

How to join

We would be delighted to welcome further members to the Alliance!   Our definition of the ‘South East’ is evolving, so groups from neighbouring counties are certainly welcome.

If you are a representative of local group that would like to join SECA, please email us at: southeastclimatealliance@gmail.com   It would be helpful to have a lead contact with each group, so we can coordinate action easily.

Individuals are also welcome to join our mailing list, which means you will be sent our periodic newsletter with updates on SECA and the Climate Emergency Campaign.  There’s a sign-up link at the bottom of the Contact page.

Please be assured that your contact details will only be used for communicating with you on matters relating to SECA and its campaigns. We will not pass on your details to any third parties without your express permission.

Steering Group

The SECA Steering Group is made up of volunteers from member organisations. If you are interested in joining the Steering Group please let us know at southeastclimatealliance@gmail.com

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