North Northamptonshire Council declares climate emergency

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The motion to set a target date of 2030 for net zero carbon was voted down

North Northamptonshire Council elected members voted unanimously to declare a climate and environmental emergency at a meeting of councillors last night.

Proposed by the Green Party's Cllr Sarah Tubbs, the motion had also set a target date of 2030 for net zero carbon but it was voted down by the ruling Conservative group.

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In June 2019, the now disbanded Northamptonshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency and committed to a target of making Northamptonshire 'carbon neutral' by 2030.

A Climate Emergency has been declared in North NorthamptonshireA Climate Emergency has been declared in North Northamptonshire
A Climate Emergency has been declared in North Northamptonshire

Cllr Tubbs said: "It is absolutely great news that a climate and environment emergency could be declared last night - it is what the county, the country and the planet needed.

"Unfortunately, the urgency in the climate crisis does not seem to have hit home to all councillors as my motion to set a target net zero date of 2030, as had been set by the previous Northamptonshire County Council, was voted down.”

The 2030 target had previously been set by the former Kettering and Corby borough councils, while neither East Northants Council nor Wellingborough Council had declared a climate emergency, the latter passing a motion in July 2019 'This council notes that Parliament has declared a climate emergency.'

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The declaration is an undertaking to make environmental considerations a part of all council decision-making. Specific targets are also likely to be set to make the council’s operations and the entire local area carbon neutral.

Green Party Councillors Emily Fedorowycz, Sarah Tubbs and Dez Dell and Independent Councillor Jim Hakewill of the Green Alliance all supported the motion.

Green Alliance leader Cllr Fedorowycz said : “I understand the leading group not wanting to set a deadline, but we need to be worrying about getting our roadmap straight and working backwards from a pre-agreed 2030 Net Zero target.

"The public need to support the council in climate change goals, and encourage them to be as ambitious as possible - we’re all in this together and it will take teamwork and support from everyone to achieve this.”

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Cllr Jim Hakewill added: “I was so pleased that a Climate and Environment Emergency was declared, which was the intention of our motion to the council. My deep disappointment is that the council’s ruling Tory group felt unable to agree to a timescale of 2030. A timescale that many of them voted for two years ago and was supported last night by all other groups.

"There is an old saying if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail - a Climate Emergency plan will fail without a clear date to achieve it by, and we can’t afford to fail for all our futures.”