Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Motion: Declaration of Climate Emergency

In accordance with Standing Order No 8(A)(3) and (6), the following Motion has been submitted by the Administration – to be moved and seconded without comment and stand referred without discussion to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee.

 

Proposed by Councillor Hilary Gander

Seconded by Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes

 

Climate Emergency Motion

 

This Council notes:

(i)            the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage  around the world;

(ii)          unfortunately, while current plans and actions locally are making a difference, they are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;

(iii)         the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018;

(a)       describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise; and

(b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.

(iv)         all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;

(v)          strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits; and that recognising this;

(vi)         a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed 'Climate Emergency' motions; and

(vii)        individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc. to make low carbon living easier and the new norm.

This Council resolves to:

(i)            declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action;

(ii)          establish a new working group, with a remit to:

(a)  draw together the work of the Council, already underway, to reduce the impacts of climate change, identify gaps and develop a plan that aims to set a challenging target date of 2038 for carbon neutrality and a baseline figure from which achievement will be measured;

(iii)         seek advice from experts to develop 5-year carbon budgets, across all the Council’s activities;

(iv)         consider the climate change impact of the Council’s activities to inform the action plan;

(v)          to assess the feasibility of requiring all risk and procurement assessments to   include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible;

(vi)         the working group will include council officers, partners and Members from across the Council;

(vii)        task a director-level officer with responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities according to the plan;

(viii)      equip all our staff, particularly those involved with planning, buildings, energy and transport management and procurement of goods and services, with an awareness of the CO2 costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions;

(ix)         report on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have, and review the Council’s investment strategy to give due consideration to climate change impacts in the investment portfolio;

(x)          work towards involving the wider community, including local businesses and our young people, in shaping the future, through a workshops or Citizen's Assemblies; and

(xi)         call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise.

 

 

 

Minutes:

(1) In accordance with Standing Order No 8(A)(3) and (6), the following Motion was submitted by the Administration, to stand referred without discussion to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee:

‘Climate Emergency

“This Council notes:

(i)            the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world;

(ii)          unfortunately, while current plans and actions locally are making a difference, they are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;

(iii)         the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018:

(a)  describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise; and

(b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.

(iv)         all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;

(v)          strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits; and that recognising this;

(vi)         a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed 'Climate Emergency' motions; and

(vii)        individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc. to make low carbon living easier and the new norm.

“This Council resolves to:

(i)            declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action;

(ii)          establish a new working group, with a remit to:

(a)  draw together the work of the Council, already underway, to reduce the impacts of climate change, identify gaps and develop a plan that aims to set a challenging target date of 2038 for carbon neutrality and a baseline figure from which achievement will be measured;

(iii)         seek advice from experts to develop 5-year carbon budgets, across all the Council’s activities;

(iv)         consider the climate change impact of the Council’s activities to inform the action plan;

(v)          to assess the feasibility of requiring all risk and procurement assessments to include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible;

(vi)         the working group will include council officers, partners and Members from across the Council;

(vii)        task a director-level officer with responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities according to the plan;

(viii)      equip all our staff, particularly those involved with planning, buildings, energy and transport management and procurement of goods and services, with an awareness of the CO2 costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions;

(ix)         report on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have, and review the Council’s investment strategy to give due consideration to climate change impacts in the investment portfolio;

(x)          work towards involving the wider community, including local businesses and our young people, in shaping the future, through a workshops or Citizen's Assemblies; and

(xi)         call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise.”

 

(2) The Council agreed to refer the Motion (which was moved by Councillor Hilary Gander and seconded by Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes) to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee for debate.

Voting - unanimous