Further to Minute C/71 above and in accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, discussion continued with regard to the second motion at Agenda Item No.16, Climate Emergency 2019, the motion having already been put to Council by Councillor Dyan Jones, Environment Portfolio Holder, and seconded by Councillor Ben Berry.
Councillor Matt Severn expressed support for the motion, stating that the recent floods experienced in South Lakeland were as a result of climate change and stressing the need for immediate action.
In response to a query raised by Councillor Chris Hogg, Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio explained that it was intended that future Council and committee reports included a section identifying how the proposed decision was likely to impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, raised an amendment to the motion to include the word “net” within the last paragraph so that it would read, “Council now urges government to recognise this urgency and to work with local authorities, health services, businesses, consumers, farmers, educational institutions and all other interested bodies to reduce to net zero as quickly as possible our carbon emissions and their equivalents.” Both Councillors Jones and Berry were content to accept the amendment.
Councillor Ben Berry also stressed that now was the opportunity to take action and commended the cross-party stance. He highlighted the fact that action moving forward would take courage.
It was, subsequently, unanimously
RESOLVED – That, with regard to Climate Emergency 2019, Council confirms that it is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and continues to look at all areas of policy and delivery. The Climate Change Policy and the work of the Green Team demonstrates and clarifies our position and ambitions.
Council recognises that many organisations have been working hard locally and nationally to identify and address climate change in their own communities and with partners. However, Council believes action needs to happen faster. Business as usual is not enough and there is a growing urgency to implement these actions more rapidly.
· the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5?C special report which provides, with sobering clarity, the evidence of the impact of climate change;
· the wider acknowledgement from some bodies that there is a 50% chance of a 2?C rise by the end of this century;
· the World Meteorological Organisation in their annual bulletin (November 2018) state that carbon dioxide levels hit new highs of 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015;
· the UN Gap Report published before the COP24 in Poland this year, reminding us that the Paris Agreement targets are off track; and
· UK Met Office’s 2018 Prediction offering an assessment of what we can expect to experience - higher sea levels, rise in temperatures, disrupted rainfall patterns, and as we have seen recently, flooding, over heating and torrential unpredicted rain;
Council confirms that we are facing a climate emergency.
Council now urges government to recognise this urgency and to work with local authorities, health services, businesses, consumers, farmers, educational institutions and all other interested bodies to reduce to net zero as quickly as possible our carbon emissions and their equivalents.
Note – The Chairman thanked all Members and guests for their contribution to the discussion, saying that this was a good example of collaborative agreement on what would be pivotal for coming generations.