Proposed by Councillor O’Hara

Seconded by Councillor Matt Collins

“This Council notes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, which tells us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities and notes the UK Governments target of reducing emissions to net-zero by 2050.  Council also notes the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports on global species and habitat loss. This Council has supported a motion to declare a Climate Emergency and in light of these, this Council commits to a more ambitious and more urgent target of net-zero emissions than 2050. This target will be informed by the work undertaken below and will reflect the ambition of similar cities in the UK with an initial interim target of 80% by 2030.

Council therefore;

  • Commits to becoming a carbon-neutral organisation as urgently as possible, and will publish an evidence-based decision on a target year by 2021 (including Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol);
  • Requests that the Chief Executive reports back to Council within eighteen months with an Action Plan and ‘roadmap’ to ensure that Belfast City Council becomes a carbon-neutral organisation by a recommended date;
  • Requests that the Chief Executive reports back to Council by 2021 with detailed information about how the Council will work with partners across the Belfast City Council Area and with central and devolved government to seek to ensure that Belfast District’s net carbon emissions (Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3) are reduced by 80% as speedily as possible compared to 2005 levels. This will include a resourcing plan for the Council and what that will require in terms of council decision making on the rates consequences.  The working group will also receive a report on the costs and activities required to develop a deliverable plan, including the expertise that will need to be procured;
  • Requests that Council immediately establish a Resilience and Sustainability Board similar to that in Manchester, to underpin our efforts to decarbonise Belfast;
  • Requests that the Council writes to the Central and Devolved government requesting:

(a) additional powers and funding to make our climate mitigation and adaptation work possible; and

(b) that Ministers work with other governments to ensure that the UK maximizes carbon reduction urgently in line with the overriding need to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C.”

(To be referred, without discussion, to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee)