The Council agreed that the following wording be added to the motion as further amended:-
Paragraph: c) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and the governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district, city, “and town and parish Councils” need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.
The motion as amended and further amended and with the additional wording was then put to the meeting and it was
“Council notes that:
a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;
b) It should be noted that the government has announced a target for net zero emissions of greenhouse gas by 2050 for the UK.
c) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and the governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district, city and town and parish Councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
d) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;
In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:
1) Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;
2) Ask the Leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that they provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier;
3) Request that, in light of the IPCC report, a cross-party Climatic Change Group as a sub-group of EOSC is set up, which together with officers reviews the council’s Climate Change Policy with the aim of bringing a report to Council in autumn of 2019, after consideration by Overview and Scrutiny. The review should include an action plan to reduce carbon emissions with a target for net zero carbon emissions by 2030, or a justification for a later date if the review finds this unachievable, and proposals for regular reporting to Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the progress with the plan;
4) Ask officers to ensure that, as the Council’s policies are routinely reviewed, specific consideration is given to how policies and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible; this will include a review of the Council’s procurement policies with an aspiration to increase the weight when scoring in the tender process – bids from businesses who display clear commitment to reducing their own carbon footprint.
5) Develop planning policies to harmonise with the aims of the Climate Emergency so that development is as far as practicable, in support of the initiative.
6) Ask officers to investigate the most appropriate training for Members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for consideration by Council;
7) Continue to work with partners across the district, county and wide region to deliver widespread carbon reductions and to attempt to encourage public support for the aims of the Climate Emergency.
8) Set up a £50K fund from general fund balance to provide grants to support local organisations to improve their carbon footprint, the criteria to be established by the Climatic Change Group to be recommended to Cabinet for approval”.