Motion 2 – Climate Emergency
Proposer: Cllr Bob Barr
Seconder: Cllr Brian Axcell
Council notes:
• Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which
are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased
by 1ºC from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts
per million (ppm), exceeding the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for
• In order to reduce runaway Global Warming and limit effects of Climate
Breakdown, it is vital that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon
equivalent) emissions from the current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to 2
tonnes or less as soon as possible;
• Individuals cannot be expected to achieve this reduction alone. Society needs
to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living
easier and the new norm;
• Current plans and local actions are not enough. The world is on track to
overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050. The IPCC’s Special
Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published last year, describes the
enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and
states that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with
ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the
private sector and local communities;
• Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’
and committing resources to address this emergency.
Council endorses the view that:
• All governments, whether national, regional or local, have a duty to limit the
negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise
this should not wait for national governments to change their policies. It is
important for the residents of Warrington and the UK that all settlements
commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
• Areas like Warrington are well placed to lead in reducing carbon emissions, as
they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example
because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit. Warrington has
ambitions to be an exemplar green town, we need to show how we will fulfil
those ambitions;
• The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that
preventing this from happening must be a shared global priority;
• Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs,
economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for
people locally and worldwide).
Council calls on Cabinet to:
• Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’
• Update the 2013 Warrington Declaration on Climate Change by pledging to
make Warrington carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production
and consumption emissions;
• Ask Westminster to provide powers and resources to make the2030 target
• Work with our MPs who are calling for a Climate Emergency to be declared and
acted upon;
• 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;
• Continue to work with partners across the town and region to deliver this new
goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
• End any direct Council investments in fossil fuels and request that the Cheshire
Pension Fund does the same, if there are any, within three years;
• Aim to make all Council owned property, both within and outside the borough,
carbon neutral by 2030;
• Report to Council within six months on the actions that are being taken, and
the Cabinet’s plan, and implementation timetable, for the future.