Green Party/Labour Party Motion to declare a Climate
Proposer: Cllr Andy Fewings
Seconder: Cllr Sue Graham
Full Council notes:
1 Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being
felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree
Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per
million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;
2 In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate
Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon
equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than
2 tonnes as soon as possible;1
3 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;
4 Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;
5 Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to
overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;2, 3
6 The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published last year, describes
the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and
told 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
7 The UK Government declared a Climate Change Emergency on the 1
st May 2019 and
Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and
committing resources to address this emergency.4 At least 43 Councils have already
declared a Climate Change Emergency.
Full Council believes that:
1 All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of
Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for
their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of
Burnley and the UK that towns and cities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as
2 Urban areas are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they
are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of
their capacity for heat networks and mass transit;
3 The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing
this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and
4 Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings
and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).
Full Council calls on Burnley Borough Council to:
1 Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
2 Call on the Executive to establish a cross-party ‘Climate Change Working Group’ (one
member from each group) whose remit is to provide recommendations to the
Executive, in light of the Climate Emergency, to make the Borough of Burnley
carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption
emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3)5
The working group’s first task will be to establish rules for and propose a citizen’s
assembly for climate change action so that the public can provide feedback to the
working group in future so that they can take that into consideration when making
recommendations to the Executive”.
3 Call on Lancashire County Council and Westminster to provide the powers and resources
to make the 2030 target possible;
4 Call on the Executive to report to Full Council within six months with the actions the
Council will take to address this emergency and detailed reasons with supporting
evidence (from within existing resources and expertise without incurring third party
expenditure) for the refusal of any recommendation(s) made by the Climate Change
Working Group.
1 Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017:
2 World Resources Institute:
3 The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC:
4 UK government: , Bristol, Calderdale,
Lancaster, Trafford and other councils: and overseas in US cities Berkeley:
Full Council 10/07/2019 Page 9 of 14 and Hoboken:, and
the C40 cities:
5 Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained:
On being put to the vote the new substantive motion was declared to be carried and it was
RESOLVED accordingly