The Climate Emergency Motion (below) was passed last night by Carlisle City Council, but the Conservatives abstained, saying that they weren’t going to vote for a motion that was “undeliverable and uncosted”. The Council Labour leader Colin Glover said to “it’s rightly ambitious. it is much better to go for a very ambitious target and try to achieve that than simply trot along for the next 10 to 15 years and think look we got plenty of time we don’t need to worry about this. If we don’t start now that the problems will just get worse and worse”

Listen to 6 year old Emily talking about Climate Change on BBC Radio Cumbria before the meeting.

Listen to BBC Radio Cumbria’s report on the Council approving their ‘Climate Emergency Declaration:

The Motion proposed by Councillor Glover that was passed.

Pursuant to Procedure Rule 12, the Corporate Director of Governance and Regulatory Services to report the receipt of the following motion submitted on notice by Councillor Glover:

“Extreme weather events over the last few years have presented severe challenges to property, transport, agriculture and other services in the Carlisle area and have led to the deaths and displacement of thousands of people worldwide. The MET Office clearly states that these kind of extreme weather events are significantly more likely on a planet with human-caused climate change.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C report, published in October 2018, humanity has 11 years for “ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities” to deliver the “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities” needed to turn this around, so we can avoid reaching tipping points where we would no longer have the ability to avoid extreme weather events. Business as usual is clearly no longer an option.

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 locally and worldwide.

A rapidly growing number of City & District Councils, together with the Mayor of London, have passed motions declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’. A number of Local Authorities have also signed up to the UK100 Agreement, pledging to achieve 100% ‘clean energy’ usage by 2050 in their region. But the recent IPCC report shows it is imperative that this target is reached much sooner.

Carlisle City Council is committed to reducing carbon emissions, both as an organisation and as the Local Planning Authority and resolves to go further than the UK100 Agreement and to act in line with the scientific consensus that we must reduce emissions to net zero by 2030, and therefore commits to:

Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.

Make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030

Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the Carlisle district Zero Carbon within the same timescale;

Achieve 100% clean energy across Carlisle City Council’s full range of functions by 2030

Convene a citizens assembly in 2019 to oversee and feed into the development of related action plans and budgets

And to take the following actions:

Ensure that political and chief officer leadership teams embed this work in all areas of the Corporate Plan and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within 12 months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline;

Request that Council Scrutiny Panels consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council policies and strategies;

Work with, influence and inspire partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;

Set up a Carlisle Partnership Climate Change group, drawing on expertise from Councillors, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, businesses, skills providers, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Sustainable Carlisle, Citizens assembly representatives and other relevant parties. Over the following 12 months, the Group will consider strategies and actions being developed by the Council and other partner organisations and develop a city wide strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030, engaging other anchor institutions and SMEs. It will also recommend ways to maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy;

Request that the Council and partners take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;

Request that the Executive Portfolio holder with responsibility for Climate Change convenes a Citizens’ Assembly in 2019 in order to involve the wider population in this process. This group would help develop their own role, identify how the Council’s activities might be made net-zero carbon by 2030, consider the latest climate science and expert advice on solutions and to consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities;

Review the Council’s Investment Strategy to give due consideration to Climate Change targets in the Investment portfolio whilst also ensuring the security of principal, portfolio liquidity and return on investment. Request a report within 6 months from the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources on investment strategies of any financial institutions where council funds are or could be held;

Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2020/21 budget cycle and Investment Strategy will take into account the actions the council will take to address this emergency;

Add the voice of Carlisle City Council to the calls on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible;

In recognition of the seriousness of the financial constraints that the Council faces, and the expectation that both the development and implementation of many measures above are likely to be contingent on securing significant additional extra funding, that the District’s local MPs be called upon to ensure that Central government provides the powers, resources and funding to make this possible, and that Council writes to them to seek their commitments;

Consider other actions that could be recommended (but are not restricted to): low carbon energy production and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging the use of electric vehicles within the fleet, workforce and wider community, integrating low carbon technologies into operational assets and projects, increasing the efficiency of buildings, prioritising these measures for housing to address fuel poverty; proactively using our local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;

Where needed, officer reports to the Council Executive and Full Council contain impact assessments on Climate Change that include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible;

Note the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which proposes strategic co-ordination using a whole systems approach to support and bring forward new energy projects across the area, to help Borderlands become the first carbon neutral region in the UK and that masterplanning work for St Cuthbert’s Garden Village is giving due consideration to sustainable design, construction and transport options.”