Example Climate Emergency Motion
The text below draws from a few motions but is largely based on the one passed in Carlisle, which is one of the most thorough and detailed so far passed.
Not all of it may be appropriate to every local context, but it can be a starting point.
that the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world.
that the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, (a) describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and (b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.
that all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;
that strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits;
and that, recognising this, a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed 'Climate Emergency' motions.
Council therefore commits to:
Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.
Make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030
Achieve 100% clean energy across the Council’s full range of functions by 2030
Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.
Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the entire area zero carbon within the same timescale;
Ensure that political and chief officer leadership teams embed this work in all areas and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within 12 months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline;
Request that Council Scrutiny Panels consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council policies and strategies;
Work with, influence and inspire partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;
Request that the Council and partners take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;
Request that the Executive Portfolio holder with responsibility for Climate Change convenes a Citizens’ Assembly in 2019 in order to involve the wider population in this process. This group would help develop their own role, identify how the Council’s activities might be made net-zero carbon by 2030, consider the latest climate science and expert advice on solutions and to consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities;
Set up a Climate Change Partnership group, involving Councillors, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, businesses, Citizens Assembly representatives and other relevant parties. Over the following 12 months, the Group will consider strategies and actions being developed by the Council and other partner organisations and develop a strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030. It will also recommend ways to maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy
Report on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have, and review the Council’s investment strategy to give due consideration to climate change impacts in the investment portfolio;
Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2020/21 budget cycle and investment strategy will take into account the actions the council will take to address this emergency;
Call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise;
Consider other actions that could be implemented, including (but not restricted to): renewable energy generation and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging alternatives to private car use, increasing the efficiency of buildings, in particular to address fuel poverty; proactively using local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;