Notice of Motion from Agenda 28th February 2019

To receive the following motion submitted by Councillor Macnaughton which reads:

“Motion to declare a Climate Emergency and commit to action to achieve carbon neutrality

Full Council notes:

1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

2. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming, published in the autumn of 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. It also told us that with ambitious action to cut carbon emissions by 50% over the next 12 years limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible. The world is currently on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050.

3. Therefore, in order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our carbon emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible, so we can limit global warming to 1.5°C.

4. This is why Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

5. Solihull Borough Council has already made good progresswhen it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Breakdown, having formed the Green Prospectus.

6. However, due to the new figures released by the IPCC, it is clear now that we need to go further and take even more ambitious action.

Full Council believes that:

1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown. It is important for the residents of the Borough of Solihull and the UK that local authorities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

2. The consequences of global temperature rising by more than 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority.

3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities.

Full Council resolves to:

1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.

2. Pledge to do everything within the Council’s power to make the Borough of Solihull carbon neutral by 2030, determining and implementing best practice methods with clear targets and metrics, and tracking and reporting on our progress on reducing emissions year-on-year to full council.

3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible.

4. Continue to work with partners across the borough and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans.”