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Lib Dems challenge city council to face-up to climate emergency

June 3, 2019 12:00 PM
Jeremy Hilton and policy planningThe Lib Dems are calling on Gloucester City Council to adopt an ambitious carbon emissions reduction plan.
Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Lib Dem group, has proposed a motion for the next meeting of the city council and is demanding that the city declares a climate emergency.
The motion, which will be debated by councillors on July 11, calls on the Tory-run city council to immediately carry out a carbon audit of the authority's corporate emissions and commit to zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The motion also demands that Gloucester should become a carbon neutral city no later than 2045.
Councillor Hilton said: "Scientists have been warning us for decades that climate change is the greatest global threat we face.
"The continuing emission of greenhouse gases and global warming overshadows every other political issue.
"Local authorities are well-placed to tackle climate change and here in Gloucester it is about time the city council started to be more ambitious in its approach.
"We need to do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect our local environment and the planet.
"We only have 12 years left to change our ways and limit the dangers of climate change.
"Many other councils, including Gloucestershire County Council, have all declared a climate emergency and it is now time Gloucester City Council did the same and become a national leader in tackling this great threat."
- Motion for Full Council - 11th July
This Council notes:
That global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels and atmospheric CO2 far exceeds levels deemed to be safe for humanity.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C, published in January 2019, which tells us 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, indigenous peoples and local communities.
That the world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C limit before 2050.
That the consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity's number one priority.
This Council further notes that:
Gloucester City Council has a cabinet member for the environment with responsibility for action on climate change
On 21st March council agreed a motion in name of Neil Hampson
Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits and that councils around the world are responding by declaring a 'Climate Emergency' and committing resources to address this emergency
Gloucestershire County Council has recently passed a motion recommending action to tackle climate change, including striving towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its corporate estate by 2030
The UK Parliament has recognised the climate emergency
This Council resolves to:
Declare a climate emergency
Immediately carry out a carbon audit of the council's corporate emissions
Commit towards zero carbon emissions for the council's corporate carbon emissions by 2030 to include carbon offsetting if required
Lobby national government to commit to 100 per cent carbon neutrality for the UK by 2045
Agree that the city of Gloucester should become a carbon neutral city no later than 2045
Consider council contracts going forward to oblige all contractors to report their carbon emissions and to place a 'carbon/environmental cost' on competing bids.
To call on Central Government to provide additional powers and resources to support local and national action towards achieving carbon neutrality
Ensure that the City Plan and revised Joint Core Strategy include policies to deliver zero carbon new builds at the earliest date possible, but by 2030 at the latest
Work with other public and private bodies to achieve a carbon neutral city as soon as possible, but by 2045 at the latest
Provide an annual report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee with a performance update on a quarterly basis on the council's zero carbon strategy