This motion was passed unanimously at the Council meeting on Thursday 18th April 2019.

Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Henshaw – 18.4.19

Climate Change Emergency

Recent extreme weather events over several years have presented severe challenges to property, transport, agriculture and other services in the Preston area and have led to the deaths and displacement of thousands of people worldwide. The Meteorological Office clearly states that these kind of extreme weather events are significantly more likely on a planet with human-caused climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. In their report “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C report”[1], published in October 2018, they conclude that 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 no longer an option.

Children in Preston will be in their teens and twenties in 11 years’ time. They deserve a liveable Preston. We must act now to ensure this.

Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved well-being for people locally and worldwide.

Over 40, and increasing, local councils, together with the Mayor of London, have passed motions declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’. Many local authorities, include Preston City Council, have also signed up to the UK100 Agreement[2], pledging to achieve 100% ‘clean energy’ usage by 2050 in their area, but the IPCC report shows it is imperative that this target is reached much, much sooner.

Preston City Council is committed to reducing carbon emissions, both as an organisation and as the Local Planning Authority and resolves to go further than the UK100 Agreement and to act in line with the scientific consensus that we must reduce emissions to net zero by 2030, and therefore commits to:

Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.

Make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030.

Commit to municipalisation of energy supply by utilising public sector sites to generate energy where appropriate

Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the Preston district Zero Carbon within the same timescale.

Achieve 100% clean energy across Preston City Council’s full range of functions by 2030.

Convene an assembly of interested groups not directly represented on Council in 2019 to oversee and feed into the development of related action plans and budgets across the City.

And to take the following actions:

  1. Ensure that political groups and Corporate Management Team embed this work in all areas of the Corporate Plan and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that a Task and Finish group be established to review Council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within 12 months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline;
  2. Request that Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council policies and strategies and charge Task & Finish groups to also consider those impacts in any report and every topic;
  3. Work with, influence and inspire partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this goal through relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;
  4. Set up a Preston Climate Change group, drawing on the expertise from Councillors, UCLAN, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, businesses, skills providers, and other relevant parties. Over the following 12 months, the Group will consider strategies and actions being developed by the Council and other partner organisations and develop a City wide strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030, by engaging with other anchor institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It will also recommend ways to maximise the local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy;
  5. Request that the Council and partners take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future-their future;
  6. Review the Council’s Investment Strategy to give due consideration to climate change targets in the Investment portfolio and to ensure the security of the

Council’s investments. Request a report within 6 months from the City Treasurer on investment strategies of all financial institutions where Council funds are or could be held;

  1. Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2020/21 budget cycle and Investment Strategy will take into account the actions the Council will take to address this emergency;
  2. Add the voice of Preston City Council to the calls on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible;
  3. In recognition of the seriousness of the financial constraints that the Council faces, and the expectation that both the development and implementation of many measures above are likely to be contingent on securing significant additional extra funding, that Preston’s local MPs be called upon to ensure that Central government provides the powers, resources and funding to make this possible, and that the Leader and Chief Executive jointly write to them to seek their commitments;
  4. Consider other actions that could be recommended (but are not restricted to): low carbon energy production and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging the use of electric vehicles within the fleet, workforce and wider community, integrating low carbon technologies into operational assets and projects, increasing the efficiency of buildings, prioritising these measures for housing to address fuel poverty; proactively using our local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;
  5. Where needed, officer reports to the Council, Cabinet and Committees contain impact assessments on climate change that include carbon emission appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible; and
  6. Note the Central Lancashire City Deal, which also includes South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, will have a direct effect on Preston climate and ensure that all partners are aware of Preston’s ambition.

Proposed by: Councillor Henshaw

Seconded by: Councillor Hull

  1. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/ and summary at https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summaryforpolicymakersofipccspecialreportonglobalwarmingof15capprovedbygovernments/

  2. https://www.uk100.org/