Hythe Town Council declares a Climate Emergency

July 5, 2019

Hythe Town Council has declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency and will work to make its activities carbon neutral by 2025.

The declaration was agreed at a full council meeting on Thursday evening (4 July). A sub-committee of the council will now draw up an action plan, using a framework provided by the Carbon Trust, which will be discussed by the full council later this year.

The town council will work with its partners and contractors, and investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding, to support its commitment to carbon neutrality.

Says Hythe Town Green Party councillor, Martin Whybrow, who introduced the item: “It is vital that all levels of central and local government play their part in tackling the greatest threat to our planet. It is wholly appropriate that Hythe Town Council joins 100+ other councils around country in declaring a Climate Emergency. Urgent action is required if we are to stand any chance of limiting global warming. Locally, our communities are particularly exposed to coastal flooding and, as a result of more extreme weather events, surface water flooding, alongside the loss of biodiversity from our local gardens, open spaces and countryside.”

The precise actions that will follow the declaration will be set out by the sub-committee but among items likely to feature are a switch to renewal energy, improved energy efficiency of the council’s properties, a feasibility study for solar panels for those properties, and a programme of tree planting for carbon offsetting.

Conservatives lost control of Hythe Town Council at the local elections in May and the largest group is now a coalition of six Green Party councillors, one Lib Dem and two independent residents group councillors (there are 16 councillors in total, with a Green mayor).

The full Climate and Ecological Emergency declaration can be found below:

Hythe Town Council recognises and declares that we are facing a Climate and Ecological Emergency and will commit resources and align its policies to address this;

HTC will set a target of carbon neutrality from its activities of 2025 at the latest using the Carbon Trust framework, with an Action Plan for achieving this, to be drawn up by a sub-committee of full council which will bring recommended actions to full council for consideration, comment and approval;

HTC will report annually at full council on its progress towards the target;

HTC will work with partners and contract providers and will investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment.

Background:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C described the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. It concluded that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and local authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.

Prime exposures to climate change for Hythe’s residents include the effects of more severe weather events and coastal flooding, and the rapid loss of biodiversity.

Everyone, including local government, needs to commit to tackle this emergency and more than 100 councils across the UK have now declared Climate Emergencies and/or set ambitious carbon neutral targets, so too the UK parliament and Welsh Assembly.



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