Newbury Town Council has declared a climate emergency and set a target of making all its activities carbon neutral by 2030.
Steve Masters of the Green Party seconded the motion, which was proposed by Martin Colston, Liberal Democrat leader of the council, at the full council meeting on Monday 10 June.
Green and Lib Dem councillors all voted for the proposal. The sole Conservative present at the meeting abstained.
The council has set up a climate emergency working group to draw up a strategy to implement this policy. Both Green councillors are members of the group.
Full text of the motion
1. 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.
2. That all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act.
3. That strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits.
4. And that, recognising this, a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed climate emergency motions.
5. And that the UK Parliament has declared a climate emergency.
Council therefore commits to:
1. Declare a climate emergency that requires urgent action.
2. Make the activities of Newbury Town Council carbon neutral by 2030, and ensure that the council’s strategic plan supports this objective.
3. Set up a climate emergency working group of members and officers at this full council meeting. This new working group will answer to the full council, and should:
i) Recommend the steps the council should take to develop a clear evidence-based and fully costed strategy to ensure the council’s activities are carbon neutral by 2030.
ii) Recommend how best to engage, consult and work with relevant experts, potential partner organisations, outside bodies and community groups in the development of the strategy.
iii) Recommend the processes and structures the council should employ to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the strategy.
iv) Explore how Newbury Town Council can support and promote a wider programme of activities to help Newbury as a whole become more sustainable.
v) Report back to the policy and resources committee on 14 October 2019 to give a status update and likely timescales for the completion of the strategy development, together with outline budget implications. This report and any recommendations would then come before the full council on 21 October 2019.