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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 preindustrial baseline;
ii. the UK has at a national level, set targets into law under the Climate Change
Act 2008, but despite outperforming every G7 nation by cutting emissions by
more than 40 per cent since 1990, and recently breaking the record for the
Chairman’s signature
longest continuous period without using coal in the energy mix since the
Industrial Revolution, 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;
iii. This Council already demonstrates its public commitment to the environment
through the Green Footprints agenda which includes a Free Tree scheme,
efforts to increase recycling and making Council homes more efficient by
installing air source heat pumps.
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
develop an environment strategy 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 whilst recognising that this will
potentially require the reallocation of resources by the Council.
f. That this Council commits to work with business and other public bodies across the
district county and region to deliver this ambitious goal through all relevant
technologies, strategies and the revision of the Local Plan where this aligns with
national policy and guidance
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:-
provide the powers and resources to local authorities and others to make the
wider 2030 target more possible;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.”