A motion declaring a climate emergency and pledging to ensure we achieve net-zero carbon emissions no later than 2050 has been endorsed by all 39 members.
The Climate Emergency motion, proposed by Councillor Glenn Briski and seconded by Councillor Harry Mortimer, was backed unanimously by members at our Full Council meeting on Wednesday (18 September). The motion which recognises ‘the catastrophic effect of changing weather patterns’ commits us to reduce carbon emissions in all our operations and engage with our supply chain to ensure it does the same. A fund of £150,000 has been set aside for climate change initiatives.
In addition, a cross-party member and officer working group will be set up to explore ways we can help reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. Further details, including an action plan, are expected to be discussed at the council’s Executive meeting on 16 October.
Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This is one of the most important motions agreed by the council.
“The world is too hot and we cannot carry on burning fossil fuels the way we are doing. If we act now, we might have a chance of mitigating the impact of climate change, but obviously we can’t do this alone.
“We need the support of our residents, staff, community groups and partner organisations to deliver our net-zero carbon pledge.
“Whether it involves changing energy suppliers, insulating more homes and buildings, planting more trees, or decarbonising transport, we will be exploring all the avenues available to us to help get our emissions down.
“It also speaks volumes for my colleagues Cllrs Briski and Mortimer, who were only elected just a few months ago, that they have been able to bring this motion forward.”
Councillor Jeremy Newmark, Leader of the Labour group, said: “At a time when there is great division and uncertainty, both at local and national levels, we can all unite behind this common cause for the greater good.
“This motion represents the first step towards a radical green new deal for Hertsmere. I’m optimistic that it will deliver some swift and meaningful changes in our operations for the benefit of local people and future generations.”
Councillor Andrew Melville, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Climate change is the number one priority for my party, and so I’m delighted it is now a priority for this council as well.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues across all parties to help make a difference to all our futures.”
We are one of 205 local authorities, alongside Hertfordshire County Council, St Albans City and District Council, Watford Borough Council and Dacorum Borough Council, who have declared a climate emergency and committed to taking urgent action to reduce our carbon emissions.
To find out more go to https://www.climateemergency.uk/
Posted on Friday 20th September 2019