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kevin@climateemergency.uk

Motion passed by the Full Council unanimously on Monday 18th March

Declaring a Climate Emergency

Proposed by: Cllr Hearn

Seconded by: Cllr Say

Full Council notes:

  1. 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). This exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

  2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible;
  1. Individuals cannot be expected to 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.  And these carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

  2. 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;
  1. In Haringey, the consequences of inaction to address this emergency will include:

–          Increased risk of flooding, subsidence, and damage to buildings and infrastructure.

–          Health problems, particularly for children, the disabled and older people. 

–          Higher energy and food costs.

–          Increases in social injustice and inequality.

  1. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, 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 and local communities;
  1. Councils around the world, including Bristol, Manchester, Brighton & Hove and Stroud, have responded by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency. We want Haringey to join this community.

 

This Council believes that:

  1. climate change and sustainability are amongst the biggest issues of the 21st century and the effects of manmade and dangerous climate change are already manifestly occurring;

  2. the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other worrying changes;
  1. the Council has highlighted that climate change as the biggest challenge that which requires bold, and radical action.  This is shown in the work that the Council has already delivered and continues to develop.  Including an action plan being developed to becoming a zero-carbon borough, and showing our Council’s commitment towards making our contribution towards the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement;
  1. cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit;
  2. we recognise the critical role that Councils have to play in delivering a zero carbon future and that whilst the present Government have, in this Council’s opinion, been inadequate at rising to the scale of the climate change challenge.  And that together the boroughs community can create innovative solutions to address many of the causes and impact of climate change.  And many of these will grow and support a new cleaner and greener economic base for the borough;

  3. Haringey has delivered a number of innovative and bold initiatives that have reduced our borough’s carbon emissions.   And this has meant that between 2005 and 2016 (the last available data), the borough has delivered a 32.4% reduction in its carbon emissions.  This is a higher rate of carbon reduction than our neighbouring boroughs and the national average.  We are the only authority that has set out in its constitution to report our annual carbon reduction performance.  Measures that have been delivered by the Council include:

–          investing over £1.2m in solar power generation across its property portfolio, generating nearly 0.6MW of electricity each year, enough for over 500 homes.

–          actively developing a district heat network, and Municipal Energy Company, which will link into the Edmonton Energy from Waste Plant, which will turn local waste into low carbon electricity and heat for the borough.  Reducing the risk of fuel poverty;

–          supporting the use of new technology, including new LED streetlights;

–          increasing awareness and infrastructure to increase the rate of transition to ultra-low emission vehicles;

–          setting the priority of walking and cycling in the boroughs transport strategy;

–          being the first authority to withdraw 1/3 of its pensions fund from fossil fuel investments into low carbon investments;

–          delivering over 60% reduction in corporate carbon emissions through improving energy efficiency, better building and fleet management, and integrating new technologies; and

–          leading the way by being one of the first authorities to identify the Climate Change risk and work to address this with a Zero by 2050 Commission and work to deliver this ambition.

  1. As a Council, and as a borough we have made considerable progress in carbon reduction but we need to go further still in light of the IPCC?s special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, which confirmed the catastrophic consequences of manmade climate change and urgent need to act.

Therefore the full Council agrees to:

  1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
  1. Together as a community and with wider stakeholders, collectively work towards making Haringey carbon neutral by 2030, delivering impact on both production and consumption emissions;
  1. Call on Westminster Government and the GLA family to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;
  1. Work with other governments (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;
  1.  Continue to work with partners across London and regions to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
  1. Continue to work with partners across the borough and beyond to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
  1. Report back to Full Council by the end of the year, with a date for the borough to become zero carbon as soon as possible.