‘Climate Emergency’ Motion:

Making Milton Keynes the Greenest City in the World
Councillor Marklew – 19 December 2018
“1. That the Council notes:
(a) climate change is real and the detrimental impact is
being felt around the world;
(b) carbon emissions result from both production and
(c) the Paris Climate Agreement seeks to limit global
temperature rises to 1.5°C before 2050;
(d) that in the years 2017 and 2018 global carbon
emissions have increased;
(e) the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C,
published last month, describes the enormous harm
that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C
rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C
may still be possible with ambitious action from national
and local government, cities, civil society, the private
sector, and local communities;
(f) individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction
on their own, society needs to change to make low
carbon living easier and the new norm;
(g) Milton Keynes has a proud and pioneering record in
environmental action; and
(h) local government and cities around the world are
responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and
committing resources to address this emergency.
2. That the Council believes that:
(a) all levels of governments must seek to limit the negative
impacts of Climate Change, but that local government
should not, and cannot, wait for national governments
and international agreement before acting ambitiously
to tackle the issue;
(b) tackling climate change must seek to tackle wider
sustainability issues such as the use of resources and
other emissions;
(c) bold climate action can deliver economic benefits
regarding new jobs, financial savings and market
opportunities locally, as well as improved well-being for
people worldwide;
(d) clean air and biodiversity are key to a sustainable and
liveable city;
(e) the ambitious targets set by cities such as Bristol
seeking to become carbon neutral by 2030 show global
leadership from cities;
(f) Milton Keynes can, and should, go further to become
the “Greenest City in the World;” and
(g) the growth of Milton Keynes presents an opportunity to
ensure we consider climate change and sustainability
as development takes place.
3. That the Council welcomes:
(a) the new Sustainability Strategy 2019- 2050 adopted by
Cabinet in January;
(b) that Milton Keynes is committing to an ambitious target
of being carbon neutral by 2030;
(c) that Milton Keynes is the first major world city to commit
to becoming carbon negative by 2050;
(d) the leading role being played by Milton Keynes Council
in Energy Cities and the European Covenant of Mayors
in highlighting the leading role of cities in tackling
Climate Change;
(e) the work already done by Milton Keynes in projects
such as Horizon 2020, Intensify and UK100; and
(f) the UK Government’s recent announcement it will seek
to host the UN Conference on Climate Change
(COP26) which will be the direct successor to the Paris
Climate Conference.
4. That the Council agrees to:
(a) declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
(b) fully support making Milton Keynes the World’s
Greenest City;
(c) support the pledge to make Milton Keynes carbon
neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050;
(d) call on Central Government to work with local
authorities to provide the powers and resources to
make the ambitious targets possible;
(e) sign the Oxford City Clean Air Charter
or_cleaner_air (Item 5 attached [Page 51]);
(f) continue to work with partners across the city, region
nationally and internationally to deliver this new goal
through all relevant strategies and plans;
(g) ask Cabinet to ensure that the resources are in place
locally to ensure the ambitious targets in the
Sustainability Strategy can be met;
(h) ask Cabinet to ensure the Sustainability Strategy Action
Plan for the period 2019 – 2023, with clear and
implementable actions, is brought forward as quickly as
(i) arrange a Climate Emergency Conference in Milton
Keynes this year to bring together local, regional,
national and international agencies, business and
stakeholders to help develop actions to ensure Milton
Keynes can become the world’s greenest city; and
(j) ask Cabinet to report to Council annually on the
progress made in this area.”