Notice of Motion – Declaring a Climate Emergency

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, Councillor George Potter to propose, and Councillor Steven Lee to second, the following motion:

“Guildford Borough Council notes:

a) That global temperatures have already risen over 1°Celsius from pre-industrial levels and that 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° Celsius in order to avoid serious, damaging and likely irreversible environmental, economic and social impacts.

b) That all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and that, recognising this, a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed ‘Climate Emergency’ motions.

c) That Guildford Borough Council passed a motion on 4 December 2018 acknowledging that “human activity has resulted in global climate change that threatens our future” and that “in our position as a local authority, we have a crucial role to play in both leading by example and influencing the way that the residents and businesses of Guildford Borough live and work”.

d) That the Council has already been proactive in identifying and delivering projects that save energy and carbon and is currently on track to meet its stated target of 43% CO2 emissions reductions by 2020, based on 2008/09 levels. However, it recognises that a greater level of ambition and urgency is required, in the light of the above.

Guildford Borough Council therefore:

Formally declares a Climate Emergency that requires urgent action.
Calls on the UK government to provide the powers, resources and funding support to make local, as well as national, action against climate change possible.

Commits to working with partners across the Borough to evaluate and determine how and when Guildford Borough could become carbon neutral.
Commits to working towards making the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030.
Commits to establishing the necessary governance structures, investment plans and officer resources in order for the Council to build a strong foundation to deliver progressively ambitious carbon reductions across our operations.
Commits to establishing a borough-wide Climate Change Partnership consisting of representatives from all stakeholders across all sectors.

Commits to developing, within 12 months, a clear action plan and timescale for being net-zero carbon across our Council operations, starting with a review of what has already been achieved and plans already instigated.

Commits to delivering a joint Member-Officer training programme to enable a shared understanding of how to deliver the above, starting in September 2019.”