23 January 2019
A Green party motion calling on the Leader of Lambeth Council to declare a climate emergency and bring the borough’s carbon neutrality target forward to 2030 passed in a Full Council meeting this evening (Wednesday 23rd January).
The motion, submitted by the Green Party who are the official opposition on Lambeth Council, commits the borough to ambitious climate change targets. It was inspired by the recent IPCC report which warned that policy-makers have just 12 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming greater than 1.5°C; above this temperature, the risks to humanity of floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty become much greater, impacting on hundreds of millions more people.(1)
The motion text notes the particular impact that inaction against climate change could have in Lambeth including health problems for children and higher energy and food costs. It asks the Council to declare a Climate Emergency, pledge to make Lambeth carbon neutral by 2030 and call on national government for more resources to do this, and to provide an annual report on progress made towards this target.
Councillor Nicole Griffiths (St Leonard’s) said:
“I’m delighted that Lambeth Council will be bringing forward its target for carbon neutrality to 2030. It is clear from the IPCC report that we have very little time to preserve our planet and we simply cannot wait for the UN or national governments to negotiate when we have just 12 years to act – we must now act with urgency and commit to ambitious action including drastically reducing the numbers of cars on our streets, investing in our cycling and walking infrastructure and building new homes with renewable energy generation built in as well as retrofitting existing council housing.”
Councillor Pete Elliott (Gipsy Hill), added:
“We must now ensure that this evening’s commitments are followed by immediate action. It is disappointing that Lambeth Labour amended our motion to remove the resolution to set up a Task and Finish group and the requirement to report back in 6 months with an action plan to address the climate emergency. Yet again it seems that Labour are paying lip service to the issues that matter without promising any real action. However, we are hopeful that we will see some real positive change as a result of our motion and over the coming years Greens will continue to hold Lambeth Labour to account on today’s decision. 2030 is an ambitious but necessary commitment for the borough and we now need to see carbon emissions factored into every decision the Council takes. Green councillors will be meeting with the Cabinet member for Environment and Clean Air next week and will continue to work with her to ensure Lambeth meet this target.”