‘Most important issue we will face in our lifetime’ – Council declares climate emergency: CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has become the latest local authority to declare a climate emergency. https://t.co/dsae3MXdEG pic.twitter.com/yrXyuNsmjZ
— Middlewich Guardian (@middlewichnews) May 27, 2019
The original motion, proposed by Councillor Matt Bryan.
The Council notes that:
- a)Climate Change remains an existential threat to Cheshire. Global Warming and increasing climatic events (periods of heatwave, periods of intense rain, unsettled seasons) are an increasing threat to our farming community, and threaten built areas prone to flooding. Climate Change will enhance conflict and migration from stricken areas, threatening our own stability long term.
- b)The Paris Agreement to which the UK is a signatory, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by “limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C” above pre-industrial levels.
- c)The IPCC’s Special Report, published in October 2018, states that we have just twelve years to limit global warming to a 1.5°C. This can only be achieved with ambitious action from national and local government, the private sector and local communities, and requires that CO2 emissions fall from their 2010 levels by 45% by 2030, reaching net zero by 2045.
- d)All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate breakdown, for the benefit of the population for which they are responsible. Therefore UK Councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and seek to achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.
- e)This Council committed to addressing climate change in October 2012, and has built many policies into the Local Plan. Notable examples are the Carbon Reduction Strategy, and the supporting Carbon Management Plan enacted in 2016.
- f)Carbon emissions from the council have reduced from 54,356t to 36,472t between 2014/15 and 2016/17 (CW&C Annual Monitoring Report 2018), but over a similar time frame total CO2 emissions across the borough have remained roughly consistent at 4,075,000t to 4,054,000t (BEIS Stats).
- g)56 Councils in the UK have already responded to the IPCC 1.5°C report by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and are committing resources to address the issue. As an example of good leadership, 30 of these Councils have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, which is the date when the IPCC predicts that we will reach a warming of 1.5°C.
In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:
- Join the growing number of councils in declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’.
- Direct the Chief Executive to produce a report to Council within six months to determine the earliest date before 2045 that CW&C and the borough as a whole can be carbon neutral, and revise its targets to meet that date (ideally 2030 to demonstrate leadership in the borough). These targets to be managed through the CW&C Annual Monitoring Report, business Carbon Management Plans, the Green House Gas Emissions Directive of 2019 and whatever other appropriate means become available.
- Send a copy of this motion to CWAC MPs and the Secretary of State for the Environment.
To enable this council to meet its targets, and the rest of the UK to halve its carbon emissions by 2030, and to reach net zero before 2045, we call on national government, industry and regulators to implement the necessary changes with funding, transformed national infrastructure, policy, new technologies and legislation, including:
- Ending CO2 emissions from electricity generation across the country.
- Investing in energy-efficient public transport across the country.
- Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 and make cleaner vehicles more accessible.
- Establish a long-term nationwide Warm Homes strategy with adequate investment for energy-efficiency measures.
- Develop a strategy for all UK businesses to be net zero carbon by 2045.
This will mitigate the damage caused by climate change and will also create a strong green economy with new jobs, less waste and with sustainable growth.