Council declares climate emergency

Published September 30, 2019 at 13:59

Rossendale Council has declared a climate emergency as councillors warn urgent action is needed to the tackle the crisis.

At last night’s meeting of Council, councillors agreed a motion which commits the Council to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The motion, proposed and seconded by Councillor Steve Hughes and Councillor Janice Johnson respectively, also commits the Council to set a 100 per cent clean energy target, write to government to urge that it brings forward more funding and devolved powers to help the Council meet its target and create a new climate change member champion.

Councillor Alyson Barnes, Leader of the Council, said:

“We cannot bury our head in the sands over this. Everyone has to do whatever they can to address this emergency. Our young people have bravely taken a lead. They rightly say unless we take action now, we will have failed them. We will not be forgiven nor should we. We wanted to show leadership on this issue, make sure our house is in order and also raise awareness that unless we all take action, we are heading for catastrophe.”

Councillor Steve Hughes, Portfolio holder for Communities and Customer Services, said:

“I am pleased the Council agreed mine and Janice’s motion and also committed to the actions which mean this Council will play our part.
“Of course it takes collective action, everyone from national governments to ordinary people have a role.
“But clearly we cannot tell others they need to do something, if we are not prepared to formally set out what we intend to do ourselves
“We have made some strides in becoming a greener council such as investing in solar panels for Futures Park, bringing in funding for electric charging points and investing in more environmentally friendly vehicles.
But we cannot just tinker round the edges. Radical thinking is necessary across the board. While we can’t solve the emergency just by ourselves, we can play our part and encourage other to do as well.”

Councillors also passed a motion, moved and seconded by Councillor Sean Serridge and Councillor Margaret Pendlebury, on single use plastics and the effect they are having on the environment and on wildlife.

The motion commits the Council to reviewing all services areas with the aim of “minimising and hopefully removing entirely our use of non-biodegradable single use plastics.”

Councillors and officers will also encourage “organisers of the wonderful community events we have in Rossendale to do the same.”

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