Motion 1
The Council notes that:
1. The recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) report states that we have just 11 years to act if global
temperature rises are to be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Failing
to meet this target would subject us to catastrophic social and
ecological impacts, which will worsen for every degree of
2. Climate change constitutes a significant risk to the people of
South Tyneside.
3. Due to our coastal and riverside location, South Tyneside is
particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate breakdown.
Curbing temperature rises to 1.5 degrees would still produce an
increase in sea-level, causing certain streets in South Tyneside
to become uninhabitable. A greater temperature increase will
amplify this affect, resulting in more homes lost.
4. Climate-breakdown-induced sea level rises have the potential
to significantly affect tourism and thus poses a risk to the local
economy. Sea-level models state that a 1.5 degreetemperature
increase would cause key landmarks such as the
Amphitheatre, Fair and Customs House to be lost to the sea.
These sea level increases will be experienced within decades
should we fail to act decisively now.
South Tyneside Council
18 July 2019
5. South Tyneside Council has already shown foresight and
leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate
Breakdown, having pledged to cut carbon emissions in the
borough by at least 20% by 2020.
6. Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough,
with the world on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s
1.5°C limit before 2050.
7. City Councils around the world are thus responding by
declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to
address this emergency. Gateshead, Sunderland and
Newcastle councils have already declared a climate
emergency, and the Conservative-led council in
Northumberland has also agreed to do so.
This Council resolves to:
1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
2. Take all necessary steps to make the borough of South
Tyneside carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both
production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3);
3. Set an interim target of cutting carbon emissions in the borough
by at least 60% by 2025;
4. Lead by example and commit to making South Tyneside
Council and all its operationscarbon neutral by 2023;
5. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to
make meeting these targets possible;
6. Produce a comprehensive Action Plan for the next five years
which will be operational within six months. The Plan will detail
how the Council will meet both of its 2023 and 2025 carbon
reduction targets, and set annual carbon reduction targets;
7. Ensure that fairness and community empowerment are at the
heart of all climate policies by establishing a Citizens’
Assembly, comprised of people of all demographics, to ensure
that the formation and implementation of the Action Plan serves
to benefit our most vulnerable communities.
South Tyneside Council
18 July 2019
8. Be accountable to the public by publishing a bi-annual report
detailing emission reduction progress and feedback from the
Citizens’ Assembly. The conclusions of this report will be
discussed every six months at a Full Council meeting.
9. Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets, and policy
documents are in-line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030;
Councillors: Francis (proposer)
Thompson (seconder)
P Milburn