Declaring a climate emergency

At our Full Council meeting on Thursday, which also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, the council took the decision to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The declaration, which has cross-party support, comes a month after we launched our Air Aware initiative, which aims to improve air quality in the county.

This is an important first step for the council and we’ve pledged to refresh our climate change strategy and continue our support to local district and borough councils in tackling the issue. We also remain committed to providing a strong, unified voice on behalf of councils when lobbying the Government.

We have made good progress to reduce carbon emissions as a council to 80% by 2050 in recent years with our ambitions set out in Hard Rain, Hard Rain 2 and Green Shoots, and have already managed to reduce our carbon footprint significantly but we recognise that after ten years and many technological changes much more must be done.

What we are doing now is setting ambitious but achievable targets to protect our environment and reduce carbon emissions even further. As well as working with our partners and lobbying the Government to address the problem, we will also consider the implementation of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Many councillors wanted to take part in the debate which I am sure will continue, and it will mean subtle changes in the way we all lead our lives, locally, nationally and globally. By working together on this issue I’m confident we can make a difference. I will keep you up to date with our progress.

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