Rochdale Council passed the following motion moved by Councillor Kelly and seconded by Councillor Bamford that:
This Council believes that the world is in the midst of a climate emergency and that action is required at all levels of Government – local, national and international – in order to protect our planet for future generations.
This Council notes that:
• on 8th October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emissions;
• the report warned that the risk of catastrophic climate change including extreme heat, drought, flooding and climate-related poverty would significantly increase unless global warming could be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C;
• the report authors found that global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate and say that urgent and unprecedented action is required to meet the target.
Council recognises that the scale of the challenge is unprecedented. Approximately 97.5% of emissions within the borough are beyond the Council’s direct control, so everyone within the borough has a role to play if we are to successfully reduce emissions. Tackling climate change can only be a common endeavour and will require residents, businesses and other organisations to play their part.
This Council resolves to:
• declare a climate emergency;
• work towards ensuring that the borough is carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the Mayor and the Government’s targets. Achieving this will require significant investment and policy initiatives from the Government, and Council hopes it would be achieved earlier than 2050;
• work towards ensuring that the Council is carbon neutral by 2030, recognising the leadership role it has in the borough;
• develop a working group to support the Council move from declaration to delivery drawing in cross sector expertise, capacity and capability. The working group should draw on existing expertise within the borough as well as including residents who are representative of the borough as a whole;
• set in place a process of engagement and collaborative action that enables an action plan to be considered by Cabinet and Council in early 2020, based on achieving the aforementioned targets.