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“Winchester City Council has joined more than 70 authorities across the country in declaring a climate emergency.

The council will be aiming to make itself carbon neutral by 2024 and achieve the same with the wider district by 2030.

An action plan, setting out how this will be achieved, will follow the declaration, which was declared by the city council’s Cabinet today (June 5).

Cllr Lucille Thompson, Leader of the council, said:

The science is clear that climate change is real and it is something that we all have a responsibility in tackling.

This is an issue that affects everyone and time is running out to avert a global catastrophe. That’s why we are setting ambitious targets to make the council and wider district carbon neutral.

By doing this we will also be speaking to partners and agencies in the district, and also lobbying government to provide additional powers and resources to help us.

A report last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the state of global warming warned of far-reaching consequences of a rise of more than 1.5°C, triggering widespread protests calling for the government and authorities to take action.

In Winchester young people recently gathered as part of the global movement inspired by the young Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg. They met with Cllr Lynda Murphy, Cabinet Member for the environment, and Cllr Jackie Porter, Cabinet Member for the built environment and wellbeing.

Cllr Murphy said:

This is about us leading the way, but to achieve our targets we will need the support of residents and we will be talking to people about how they can help.

The council’s carbon footprint has reduced by 31% in the last decade, while the district’s footprint has also reduced by 26% since 2005.