Maldon district councillors have agreed to adopt a Climate Emergency Statement.

At a meeting of the full council tonight (Thursday, 4 February) the “statement of intent” was agreed by assent (by all councillors).

The move is not unusual – many other local authorities have already declared a ‘climate emergency’ and the terminology refers to the international need to reduce carbon emissions urgently in order to slow global warming.

Addressing the meeting, Paul Dodson, the council’s Director of Performance, Strategy and Governance explained that the statement is in response to the United Nations’ advice that “we will have to take action by 2030 to keep the Earth’s rising temperature below a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase”.

The Climate Emergency Statement is to “acknowledge the growing consensus that unless we significantly reduce UK and global greenhouse gas emissions, the consequences of climate change will be severe”.

Council leader, Independent Councillor Wendy Stamp, said: “We have been looking to introduce this for some time and I think we’re a little bit behind the pace, because I know that Essex County Council have done some fantastic work and hopefully we’ll be able to work closely with them.

“There is a climate emergency going on and I think we all need to start playing our part now.”

Mr Dodson explained that the plan is for the statement to lead to practical strategies, including the revision of the district’s LDP (Local Development Plan) to ensure that it is in line with the aim of the council and all its parishes becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Key to the statement is “including young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future”.