At its Full Council meeting held on 10 December 2019, Horley Town Council Chairman, David Powell, asked all Councillors to support a pledge to make improvements to help the environment and to consider an Action Plan for the Council’s environmental activities in the future.
Cllr Martin Saunders proposed the motion, it was seconded by Cllr Robert Marr and the Town Council resolved with a unanimous vote to:
“To Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires Urgent Action”
It is noted by Horley Town Council:
- that the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world;
- that the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, (a) describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and (b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector;
- that all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;
- that strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits;
- and that, recognising this, a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed ‘Climate Emergency’ motions.
Horley Town Council therefore commits to:
- Its resolution made to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.
- Do everything in its power to make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030 and achieve 100% clean electricity consumption across the Council’s facilities by 2025.
- Immediately establish an Environment working group focused on eliminating carbon emissions, plastic waste and damage to the local ecology. (already established).
- Ensure that all strategic decisions and budgets are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030 whilst still maintaining the Council’s service delivery and financial resilience.
- Support and work with all other relevant agencies and authorities towards helping Horley become zero carbon by 2030.
- Launch an Environment Week to include residents and especially young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future.
- Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2021/22 budget cycle and investment strategy will consider the actions the council will take to address this emergency.
- Call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and to persuade our local MPs to do likewise.