We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Chiltern District Council agrees climate change emergency motion

July 24, 2019 8:34 AM

Peter Headshot

A full meeting of Chiltern District Council (23 July) has agreed a motion to declare a climate change emergency. The proposal was made by Liberal Democrat Councillor Peter Jones. Chiltern follows more than 90 other UK councils in agreeing similar declarations.

Declaring a climate change emergency is intended to mean that governments mobilise society-wide resources at sufficient scale and speed to protect civilisation, the economy, people, species, and ecosystems from the risk of climate change.

In addition the Liberal Democrat councillor told the council "our words will tell our residents that we have listened to their concerns, that we care too, and that we will take action as we can."

Peter Jones also said "It is very easy for political parties and environmental action groups to imagine that they are the only ones who care, the only ones that will do anything, and that everyone else is wrong. I reject that line of thinking. No one party, council, country or even continent has all the answers or can fix this problem on their own. Let's work together to find solutions to the climate change emergency".

Save for two abstentions, the motion was passed with both Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in support.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Jones said "It's easy to imagine that this is a global phenomenon about which we can do little. Then it turns out that there's no water in the rivers Chess and Misbourne, and the problem and the possible solutions seem to be more local that we thought. I'm pleased that the Liberal Democrats took the lead on this issue, and also very grateful for support across the Council chamber".

Full text of motion below.

Council notes that:

(a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;

(b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown. UK county, district and local councils need to commit to realistic reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

(c) the Local Government Association has voted to "declare a climate emergency and commits to supporting councils in their work to tackle climate change"

In the light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

(1) Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

(2) use all practical means to reduce any negative impact of Council services on the environment, with an aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2030;

(3) asks officers to ensure that specific consideration is given to how policies and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and take action as appropriate;

(4) continues to work with partners (including local residents and businesses) inside and outside the community to deliver widespread carbon reductions.