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From the Minutes of the Council Meeting on 28th February 2019

It was moved by County Councillor Erica Lewis and seconded by
County Councillor Steve Holgate:
Declare a Climate Emergency
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C 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.
In recent years Lancashire has been subject to both flood and fire. Events that
used to be described as 1 in 100 year events to many residents now seem to be
regular events. The changes we are seeing in the climate have presented severe
challenges to residents, business and organisations, impacting on property,
transport, agriculture and other services in Lancashire. Globally millions of others
have seen their communities disrupted and devastated with loss of life and
livelihood. Many organisations have been working tirelessly for years to try to limit
climate change, but action must happen faster. Business as usual is clearly no
longer an option. We need local wisdom to increase our resilience and to prepare
for the climate changes already in the system.
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We recognise the current financial constraints the council faces and expect both
development and implementation of action to become carbon neutral and make
adaptations for climate change will need significant amounts of additional
external funding. However, it should also be recognised that failing to act has a
cost we cannot afford to pay, and that some actions may have a positive or
neutral financial impact. Investing in sustainable energy production and climate
change adaptation can deliver economic as well as social benefits through new
jobs and savings as well as improved well-being for people locally and worldwide.
A number of councils across the country have already declared a climate
emergency.
Lancashire County Council therefore:
(i) Declares a ‘Climate Emergency’, and commits to making the operations
and activities of Lancashire County Council Carbon Neutral by 2030.
(ii) Recognises that answering the challenge of climate change is not work
that can be done individually and therefore commits to working in
partnership with councils, businesses, organisations and residents across
the county to meet this challenge.
(iii) Establishes a scrutiny task group to review the council’s operations and
identify the changes that need making so that appropriate measures can
be included in next year’s budget, and recommendations for action short of
budget proposals can be taken as soon as possible.
(iv) Calls upon the UK Government to provide councils across the country with
the powers, resources and funding to enable the work that must be done.
The following friendly amendment, which was accepted by County Councillor
Lewis, was proposed by County Councillor Gina Dowding to add as (v) and (vi):
Ensure that senior staff are fully aware of this commitment and Cabinet reports to
Full Council every six months with the actions undertaken and planned to
address this emergency.
Calls on the Government to safeguard Lancashire’s environment by continuing to
insist that the shale gas industry works within the current traffic light system and
does not bow to pressure from the industry to lower the gold standard thresholds.
The following amendment was proposed by County Councillor Michael Green,
seconded by County Councillor Charles Edwards:
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C 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.
12
This Council welcomes the joint letter from the UK, Scottish and Welsh
Government Ministers to the Committee for Climate Change, which asks for “the
date by which the UK should achieve a net zero carbon target in order to
contribute to the global ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement”.
This Council notes, between 2015 and 2021, this Government is investing a
record £2.6 billion in flood defences, maintained by colleagues from the
Environment Agency. And the UK Government are on track to meet their
manifesto commitment of better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding by 2021.
The Council also anticipates the Environment Agency’s new 50 year strategy
which is being released later this year.
In the recently published County Council Corporate Strategy, Lancashire County
Council declared “we will protect the county’s environment and climate by
investing in flood defence, energy efficiency and waste recycling”.
Lancashire County Council therefore:
1. Notes the excellent progress made by the Authority thus far in exceeding the
challenging targets set in the Lancashire Climate Change Strategy.
2. Recognises that answering the challenge of climate change is not work that
can be done individually and therefore commits to working in partnership
with councils, businesses, organisations and residents across the county to
meet this challenge.
3. Calls on the Internal Scrutiny Committee to review the council’s operations
and to help identify how the Council’s activities might be made net-zero
carbon by 2030;
4. Calls upon the UK Government to continue to fund and support schemes
that encourage action on climate change.
The amendment was put to the vote and was CARRIED and became the
substantive motion.
The substantive motion was then put to the vote and was CARRIED. It was
therefore:
Resolved: –
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C 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.
This Council welcomes the joint letter from the UK, Scottish and Welsh
Government Ministers to the Committee for Climate Change, which asks for “the
13
date by which the UK should achieve a net zero carbon target in order to
contribute to the global ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement”.
This Council notes, between 2015 and 2021, this Government is investing a
record £2.6 billion in flood defences, maintained by colleagues from the
Environment Agency. And the UK Government are on track to meet their
manifesto commitment of better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding by 2021.
The Council also anticipates the Environment Agency’s new 50 year strategy
which is being released later this year.
In the recently published County Council Corporate Strategy, Lancashire County
Council declared “we will protect the county’s environment and climate by
investing in flood defence, energy efficiency and waste recycling”.
Lancashire County Council therefore:
1. Notes the excellent progress made by the Authority thus far in exceeding the
challenging targets set in the Lancashire Climate Change Strategy.
2. Recognises that answering the challenge of climate change is not work that
can be done individually and therefore commits to working in partnership
with councils, businesses, organisations and residents across the county to
meet this challenge.
3. Calls on the Internal Scrutiny Committee to review the council’s operations
and to help identify how the Council’s activities might be made net-zero
carbon by 2030;
4. Calls upon the UK Government to continue to fund and support schemes
that encourage action on climate change.
Notice of Motion 6 was ruled out of order in accordance with Standing Order
B33(a), as it would have the effect of seeking to rescind the resolution made by
Full Council under the previous Motion.