DRAFT CLIMATE EMERGENCY MOTION
Council notes that:
Our economic system is enriching a minority while leading humanity towards climate catastrophe. Our political system is leaving many to feel powerless and excluded from the key decisions that affect them;
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C report, published in October 2018, humanity has 11 years for “ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities” to deliver the “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities” needed to turn this around, so we can avoid reaching tipping points where we would no longer have the ability to avoid extreme weather events. Business as usual is clearly no longer an option.
The UK is currently missing almost all of its biodiversity targets, with an alarming trend in species decline,
The UK Parliament has approved a motion to declare an environmental and climate emergency, and all governments (national, regional & local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate breakdown.
Extreme weather events over the last few years have presented severe challenges to property, transport, agriculture and other services in the (Local Authority) area and have led to the deaths and displacement of thousands of people worldwide. The MET Office clearly states that these kind of extreme weather events are significantly more likely on a planet with human-caused climate change.
Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved health and well-being for people locally and worldwide.
Every year our area spends significant amounts on energy. This money goes out of the local economy to the big energy companies when we believe that it could be retained through community led energy, and that community energy is a fundamentally important part of the national energy transition we are undergoing right now.
This Council therefore:
- Recognises that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils.
- Commits to restoring a safe climate by working towards eliminating greenhouse emissions and enabling drawdown of excess carbon dioxide in the air.
- Will join the (LGA) Climate Emergency Network to share good practice with other local authorities.
- Will complete a Baseline Emissions Inventory (BEI) which details the council’s annual energy consumption, annual CO2 emissions, local electricity production and corresponding CO2 emissions, and local heat/cold production (district heating/cooling, CHPs).
- Will convene a Climate Emergency (Group/Committee/Commission) that develops a series of meetings, events and partner workshops with wide representation, including from councillors, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, industry, businesses, skills providers and anchor institutions, to draw up an action plan, set targets and develop resources to both enable carbon neutrality across the full range of council activities and also to support making the (Local Authority District) Zero Carbon within the same timescale;
The action plan will address adaption and resilience; consumption and waste minimisation; clean energy generation, storage and efficiency (especially to address fuel poverty); effective community engagement, education and communication strategies; proactively using local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities; reducing car use and encouraging walking, cycling and use of public transport; ensuring council land is maintained in a way that maximises carbon sequestration, species diversity and mitigates species extinction; fossil fuel divestment; employment; health; agriculture; community wealth building.
The Climate Emergency (Group/Committee/Commission) will report to Full Council prior to the next budget cycle with a fully costed action plan to address this emergency to feed into the 2020 budget;
- Will ensure that political and chief officer leadership teams take responsibility for embedding this work in all areas of the Corporate Plan, ensuring that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030, and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities against the plan annually.
- Will review the Council’s Investment Strategy and Pension funds to give due weight to Climate Change targets in the Investment and Pensions portfolios;
- Will investigate the most appropriate training for Members and all council staff about how to integrate carbon neutral policies into all aspects of their work.
- Recognises that together with our communities, other Councils and likeminded partners, we must develop an effective campaign to influence other levels of government, industries and organisations that have the greatest power to take urgent and appropriate action to respond to the climate emergency. National (and regional) Government must provide the necessary policy, legislation and funding to enable local action on climate change to be effective.
- Supports the expansion of community energy to keep the benefits of local energy generation and supply in our local economy.