Carlisle City Council last night (Tue 5 March) passed a motion to declare a climate emergency. They are the second local authority in Cumbria to do so, following South Lakeland District Council on 26 February.
Carlisle’s motion, proposed by Councillor Colin Glover, leader of the council, is one of the strongest in the country, committing the council to:
- Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.
- Make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030.
- Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.
- Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the Carlisle district Zero Carbon within the same timescale.
- Achieve 100 per cent clean energy across Carlisle City Council’s full range of functions by 2030.
- Convene a citizens assembly in 2019 to oversee and feed into the development of related action plans and budgets.
Dozens of protestors gathered before the meeting, urging the council to take the urgent action needed to prevent climate change. Inside the council chamber, the debate on the motion was opened by a question from six-year-old Emily Graham, daughter of the CAfS chief executive, Hazel. Emily asked the councillors what they intend to do to tackle climate change, adding:
“If you don’t act now, in 12 years time, when I turn 18, when I am old enough to be a councillor, it will be too late. I will not get my chance to change things. My future depends on the decisions you make in this room. Please give me a chance to change the world too.”
After a lengthy debate, the motion was passed by 29 votes, with 22 councillors abstaining.
CAfS congratulates Carlisle City Council for committing to the bold action that the climate science demands and we are incredibly heartened by the growing momentum to tackle climate change at a local level in the county and across the UK. We’ll continue to share information about possible climate emergency motions in other districts, as we hear it.