Wellow Parish Council Motion – Declare a Climate Emergency
The motion is below and here in word.
Wellow Parish Council notes:
- By emitting Green House Gases, 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. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and rising.
- 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 average of 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible;1
- Individuals have to make adjustments to their way of life to reduce their carbon footprint, but individuals cannot 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;
- Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;2, 3
- The 2018 IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and 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;
- City and Parish Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.4
Wellow Parish Council believes that:
- 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 Wellow residents that all levels of government commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
- On average, residents of Wellow have a higher carbon footprint than the average for residents of the rest of the world, and as such, Wellow Parish Council has a particular duty to facilitate the reduction of emissions of Green House Gases
- 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,
- Bold climate action can deliver local economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).
Motion : Wellow Parish Council will:
- Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
- Take every action within its power to make the Parish of Wellow carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3)5;
- Call on Bath and North East Somerset Council and Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;
- Work with other government and corporate bodies, and local residents to implement best practice to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C
- Deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
- Report to Wellow Parish Council every six months with the actions the Council will take to address this emergency and to report on progress.
- Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017:
2. World Resources Institute:
3. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
4. Including US cities Berkeley: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blog/2018/6/13/berkeley-unanimously-declares-climate-emergencyand Hoboken: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blog/2018/4/25/hoboken-resolves-to-mobilize, and the C40 cities: https://www.c40.org/other/deadline-2020, Brighton, Totnes and more locally Frome and Bristol.
5. Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained:
6. Carbon footprint calculators
I wholeheartedly agree with the principle that Wellow Parish Council should declare a “Climate Emergency”. It is imperative that all sectors and individuals in society make ever effort to reduce their Carbon Footprint and that Wellow Parish Council play its part in achieving this goal.
I certainly support the notion and definitely agree that this proposition to Wellow Parish Council can help to create a low Carbon Footprint for our village. One cannot guarantee absolute global commitment to the cause but our village will be a step in the correct direction to ensuring our planet is sustainable for generations to come, and could act as a catalyst for greater awareness of the cause.
Steps to reduce the effects of Climate Change become increasingly urgent and we all need to be involved. If the PC show active interest and seek actions they might take it will encourage all households to do what they can and to realise the need to take it seriously and do their bit.
I support the need for all households in the parish to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.