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Climate Emergency - A call for action, now!

July 17, 2019 10:25 AM

Liberal Democrat councillors Mike Sole and Alex Rickets have put forward the following motion that will be debated by Canterbury City Council at the Council meeting at 7pm at The Guildhall on Thursday 18th July.

"This Council notes;

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warning that we have 12 years to make the necessary changes to limit a rise in global temperatures to 1.5c. Failure to act will see a marked increase in sea levels and flooding, extreme and abrupt changes to weather patterns, crop failures, extinctions of plant, insect and animal species and global economic disruption and crisis. This will detrimentally impact on the well-being of the people of Canterbury and billions of people around the world.

At the Global Climate Talks in Poland last December the UK along with over 200 nations agreed action on Climate Change with a much greater role strongly implied for Local and Regional Authorities like Canterbury City Council in assisting Governments achieve their car-bon emission savings.

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency and publicise this to the people of Canterbury to raise awareness, and support the public to take effective action.
  1. Request Council initiate a full Environmental Audit of Canterbury City Council to measure its carbon footprint, identify hotspots and work toward being carbon neutral in line with the latest targets set and agreed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; reporting to the first meeting of the working party, referred to at 5 below on the scope of the environmental audit.
  1. To make significantly improving our recycling rate an essential component of the review of the waste collection and disposal service that will replace the current Serco contract.
  1. Develop fully sustainable carbon-neutral solutions to transport in Canterbury. These will include much improved public transport, park & ride expansion, electric buses and taxis, greater pedestrianisation, pedestrian priority, more useful cycle routes, an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone in the city centre, etc.
  1. To set up a Councillor Working Party with a remit to:
  • a) Commission and oversee the Environmental Audit
  • b) Consult expert opinion in the field, as appropriate
  • c) Identify practical measures to reduce emissions and the Council's carbon footprint
  • d) encourage action in the wider community, businesses and other key organisations
  • e) Report to Full Council within six months with an action plan to address the Emergency and incorporating proposals on the investment implications of this proposed activity.
  1. The Council to consider Environmental Impact as part of any new policy.
  1. The Council to seek to collaborate with other Local and Regional Authorities on emission reduction projects as appropriate. The Leader of the Council to write to the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry requesting that national policy is urgently developed to reflect the seriousness of the current emergency and to release funds to local authorities that would allow them to take the necessary measures at local level."