On Tuesday 22nd January, members of Cornwall Council were asked to declare a climate emergency for Cornwall. After lengthy debate, including attempts to amend the motion in various ways, the following motion was passed, almost unanimously.
“This Council resolves to:
1. Declare a ‘climate emergency’.
2. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to become carbon neutral by 2030 and commit to work with other Councils with similar ambitions;
3. Provide adequate staff time and leadership to prepare a report within six months to establish how Cornwall can sufficiently reduce carbon emissions through energy efficiency, low-carbon fuels and investment in renewable energy and other Council strategies, plans and contracts within a timescale which is consistent with an ambition to restrain Global Warming to 1.5⁰C. This will draw together the actions Cornwall Council is already and will continue to take; and where possible, outline partners’ commitments to move towards a carbon neutral Cornwall by 2030.”
(‘Climate Emergency’ is an internationally recognised declaration being used by Councils and other Local Authorities, predominantly in the UK, Australia and the USA, to publicly declare concern over the IPCCs findings which recognise the adverse global impact of the changing climate. The declaration also serves as a commitment to take urgent action and aspire towards carbon neutrality.)
Naturally there were several members of the public at the debate, including members of Transition Helston. Cornwall Council now joins over a dozen city and county councils in declaring a climate emergency, along with dozens more at the town and parish level.