Climate Emergency Notice of Motion

Summary:

It is now clear that the world has less than 12 years to switch away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Reducing energy use and switching to clean energy will also increase energy security, improve air quality, minimise fuel poverty, boost the local economy and provide jobs and training.

It is proposed that Peacehaven Town Council declares a Climate Emergency and commits to going carbon neutral by 2030. This will help to raise the profile of this vital issue and secure external funding. It is also proposed that Peacehaven Town Council signs up to the Covenant of Mayors to track our progress and link with towns around the world who are cutting emissions.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5ºc report, published in October 2018, humanity has 12 years for “ ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities” to deliver the “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities” needed to turn this around, so we can avoid reaching tipping points where we no longer have the ability to avoid extreme weather events.

It is vital that all communities play their part in reducing carbon emissions.

Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, new income streams and localising wealth generation as well as improved well-being for people locally and worldwide.

We the undersigned therefore call on Peacehaven Town Council to declare a climate emergency and also sign up to the Covenant of Mayors to track our progress and link with towns around the world who are cutting emissions.

Declaring a “Climate Emergency” involves taking action as outlined in the following clauses

Support the setting up of a Climate Change Group involving Councillors, residents, young citizens and experts working in this field. This Group will review Councils current actions and help the Council develop a Carbon budget taking into account both production and consumptions of emissions.

Call on the Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible.

Draw upon the observations, insights and reports of the Citizens Panel.

Review the Council’s Investment Strategy to give due weight to Climate Change targets

Report to Full Council prior to the next budget cycle with a fully costed action plan to address the emergency to feed into the 2020 budget.

Request the setting up of a Citizen’s Panel and a Young Citizen’s Panel in order to help identify how the Council’s activities might be made net-zero carbon by 2030.

To consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities.

To increase local resilience to climate impacts already in the system.

To maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as health, housing, agriculture, transport and the economy.

To support and with all other agencies work towards making Peacehaven Town Zero Carbon within the same timescale.

Other actions that could be recommended include (but not restricted to) increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, replacing vehicles with electric and/or hydrogen powered vehicles, switching to 100% fossil-fuel-free energy.

Where necessary officer reports to contain impact assessments on Climate Change that include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible.

Work with partners across the town, district, county and region to help deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources.

Requests a report on the levels of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have.

In recognition of the seriousness of the financial constraints that the Council faces and the expectation that both the development and implementation of many measures above are likely to be contingent on significant additional funding, that the Town’s M.P. be called upon to ensure that central government provides the process, resources and funding to make this possible and that Council writes to them to seek their commitments.

Recommendations:

1. Declare a “Climate Emergency”
2. Pledge to make Peacehaven Town Council carbon neutral by 2030
3. Set up a Citizens Panel and a Young Citizens Panel
4. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible.
5. Sign up to the Covenant of Mayors
6. Develop a detailed plan of action and report to Council prior to the next budget cycle
7. A report to come to Council in 6 months with an update on the actions being taken to address this emergency

Proposed by Cllr Sue Griffiths, Chair Leisure, Amenities and Environment

Seconded by Cllr. Chris Collier, Chair, Policy and Finance Committee