Motion proposed by Councillor J. Blake, Leader

This Council notes that many Leeds residents are demanding action on climate change as demonstrated through actions such as the recent ‘Youth Strike.’

Council accepts that in order to limit the effects of global warming it is necessary for the world population to reduce its annual carbon emissions from the current 6.5 tonnes per person to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible.

Council recognises that individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs leadership at international, national and local level. Council is aware that current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050.

All governments nationally and locally have a duty to limit the negative impacts of global warming. Local councils should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of Leeds and the UK that cities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

Council notes through collaboration with the Leeds Climate Commission how it is now one of the leading local authorities in the country in this area. This is underlined by the unprecedented scale of investment prioritised by this Council towards carbon reduction measures. This includes our innovative Leeds PIPES district heating scheme, our investment to improve the energy performance of council housing and in area based regeneration schemes to support both private and council housing improvements, and our investment to become the leading authority in the country for changing our fleet to Electric Vehicles.

Council therefore resolves to:

  1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.
  2. Sign up to a science based carbon reduction target that is consistent with achieving the Paris Agreement of no more than 1.5°C global temperature increase.
  3. Work to make Leeds Carbon neutral by 2030 and call on central government to provide the funding and powers to make this possible.
  4. Work with other organisations and governments within the UK and internationally to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C.
  5. Bring a report to April Executive Board setting out how we can work with the Leeds Climate Commission to run a conversation with residents, Trade Unions, public sector organisations, businesses and the third sector on developing a plan with the actions and milestones required to reach this target, and report the outcome to Executive Board by the end of 2019.

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