Jackie Hook

Liberal Democrat County Councillor Newton Abbot North, District Councillor Bushell Ward Learn more

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Climate Emergency Announced by Teignbridge DC

by Jackie Hook on 21 April, 2019

I am very pleased to announce that Teignbridge has declared a Climate Emergency. The Notice of Motion that I submitted to Full Council on Thursday last week is below. It was approved unanimously. The only change was an improved target to make Teignbridge carbon neutral by 2025 rather than 2030. It is imperative that the Council, whoever is running it after May 2nd, takes immediate action to take this forward. As Lib Dems we are committed to the challenge required, and see no reason why we can’t do this whilst creating an economy that is thriving and resilient; a more locally based circular economy. I would like us to form a Task Group with those in the community and business world. We know what needs doing, we just need to be committed to act.

Council Notes: 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 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. 

 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.

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. Our current plans and actions are not enough.  The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit before 2050.

 6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 degrees Celsius, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.

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

Council believes that:

1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognize this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.  It is important for Teignbridge Council and other Councils to commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

 2. Towns, Cities and Local Authorities at all tiers are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions; they are well placed to help decarbonize villages and more remote areas as they have closer links with their residents.

 3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved personal, social and environmental well-being for people, locally and worldwide.

Teignbridge District Council will,

1.      Declare a ‘climate emergency’

2.      Pledge to do what is within our powers, to make Teignbridge District carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.

 3.      Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary for Teignbridge District to achieve the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and to implement best practice methods to limit global warming to 1.5C.

4.      Report to Full Council within six months with an Action Plan, outlining how the Council will address this emergency. The Action Plan will detail the leadership role Teignbridge District will take in promoting community, public, business and other Council partnerships to achieve this Carbon Neutral 2030 Commitment throughout the District. The Action Plan will also outline adequate staff time and resources to undertake the actions to achieve the target.

5.      To investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment.

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Dave Hutton says:

    Well done, Jackie. Let’s hope some positive action will emerge as a result of this declaration. I fear many Cllrs are unaware of its potential consequences!

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