DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY

DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY

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Philip Devonald started this petition to North Herts District Council
a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;
b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:
1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;
2. Ask the Leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that they provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier;
3. Request that, in light of the recent IPCC report, officers review the council’s Climate Change Policy with the aim of bringing a report to Council in the autumn of 2019, after consideration by Overview & Scrutiny. The review should include an action plan to achieve a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030 and proposals for regular reporting to Overview & Scrutiny Committee of the progress with the plan;
4. Ask officers to ensure that as the Council’s policies are routinely reviewed, specific consideration is given to how policies and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible;
5. Ask officers to investigate the most appropriate training for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future consideration by Council;
6. Continue to work with partners across the district, county and wider region to deliver widespread carbon reductions.

I started this petition because…
1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are now at 409 parts per million (ppm) which far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway global warming and limit the effects of climate breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible;1

3. Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

4. Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

5. As a society, our current plans and actions are not enough to even begin to tackle this problem. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;2, 3

6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published last year, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. “Business as usual” could see global average temperatures rise by a horrendous 4°C. However, the IPCC told 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 communities3;

7. Councils in Britain and around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.4

We believe that:

1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of our area and the UK that cities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

2. 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; and,

3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).
0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!