It was moved by Mr Hunt, seconded by Mr Pain and carried unanimously:

“(a) That this Council notes:

(i) the UK has, at international level, signed into the Paris Accord 2015 and to the commitments agreed in 2018 at the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) which amongst other things recognise the need to limit by 2030 temperature rises to between 1.5° C and 2° C above the internationally recognised pre-industrial baseline;

(ii) the UK has at a national level, set targets into law under the Climate Change Act 2008, but the UK is not currently on track to meet its statutory carbon targets set in the 4th and 5th carbon budgets for the period 2023-2027 and 2028-2032 respectively;

(ii) the County Council in July 2018 agreed a revised and dynamic Environment Strategy 2018-2030 which sets out various carbon reduction targets in line with national targets including a significant role to protect and enhance the wider county environment;

(iv) the County Council’s progress towards meeting its 2011-21 climate change targets has been highly laudable, particularly those internal to the Council such as the total emissions from Council Operations (excluding external contractors) and total waste for Council Sites but not recycling from Council Sites;

(v) the County Council has also signed up to the UK100 pledge acknowledging its responsibility to secure the future for its communities and for people around the world when faced with the challenge of a changing climate.

(b) That this Council further notes that in October 2018 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published scientific evidence and determined that any rise above 1.5° C would cause much more serious outcomes than Paris Accord envisaged, thereby having a more rapid adverse impact in the north and south polar regions and the Himalayan ‘third pole’ and in doing so recognises that the current efforts and targets towards reducing emissions and limiting temperature rises is clearly not enough.
(c) That this Council also notes that there are increasing calls for councils to declare a climate emergency and to commit to carbon neutrality by 2030 for their administrative areas.

(d) That this Council notes that:-

(i) it can only operate within its own scope of control and influence;

(ii) there is a need to balance the competing demands on its decreasing resources and finances;

(iii) not all the technological solutions nor the required powers and resources are currently in place.

(e) That this Council declares a climate emergency and will aim to achieve carbon neutrality from its own operations by 2030 and accordingly requests officers to undertake a review of the aspects of the Environment Strategy 2018-30 necessary to achieve this aspiration together with an assessment of the cost and technology implications of so doing to enable the Cabinet and Council to take an informed decision on revising the ambitions of the Environment Strategy recognising that this will require the reallocation of resources by the Council.

(f) That this Council, as a key place leader, also commits to work with business and other public bodies across the county and region to deliver this ambitious goal through all relevant technologies, strategies and plans.

(g) That this Council recognises that there is an increasing urgency for action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and in doing so calls for the support of all parties to urge the Government to:-

(i) provide the powers and resources to local authorities and others to make the wider 2030 target more possible;

(ii) work with other governments (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”