Council backs motion calling on government to declare “climate emergency”

Climate campaigners attended St Neots Town Council to support Cllr Green's motion

Climate campaigners attended St Neots Town Council to support Cllr Green's motion - Credit: Archant

Councillors on St Neots Town Council voted unanimously to support a motion calling on the government to declare a Climate Emergency.

Councillors on St Neots Town Council have backed a motion calling on the Government to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The council joins hundreds of local authorities across the country aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and demanding action on “climate breakdown”.

Priory Church councillor, Christine Green, put forward the motion at the full town council meeting on February 26 and won the backing of all 16 of her fellow councillors. Several members of the public stood up during the public participation session to offer their support for the motion.

Mrs Green told the chamber there was a growing movement among parish and district councils to put pressure on government to address climate issues as currently this was “too little and too slow”.

“To show leadership they [councils] are choosing to publicly declare a ‘climate emergency’ in the hope of raising the profile of this and prompting the government to take effective action,” Cllr Green said.

“We need to ‘walk the talk’ and commit to carbon zero or neutrality by a set date.”

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Cllr Green said the motion would be a public declaration of the council’s commitment and she hoped it would inspire other councils, businesses and organisations to take action.

“By joining other towns and cities across the country we will be demonstrating vital leadership on this issue which affects every one of us.

“We will not be waiting for others to tell us what to do, or for policies that force us to change, but actively choosing to take responsibility.”

Before the vote, Councillor Ben Pitt, said: “This is the single biggest issue affecting us all and voting against this motion would be appalling, so it has my support.”

Cllr Green will set up a working party of fellow councillors to work out how to proceed.

After the meeting she said: “I was very proud of St Neots Town Council and it was wonderful to see so many members of the public supporting the motion, but the hard work starts here.”

Carbon neutral, also called carbon neutrality, is the result of organisations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put in to it. The overall goal is to achieve a zero carbon footprint.