Canterbury Labour Group today submitted a key environmental motion for the full council meeting on the 18th July. The motion calls on Canterbury City Council to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 in light of the Climate and Environment Emergency declared by Parliament on the 1st May this year.
Over the last six months Labour has been listening to the rising tide of public support for major climate action. The Youth Strike for Climate and Extinction Rebellion groups have both led successful protests in Canterbury attended by Labour councillors. Councillor Pat Edwards, in submitting the motion said “environmental concerns have not been at the heart of the Districts agenda locally and Labour shows how Canterbury City Council can lead the way by taking this stand and committing to actions that give carbon neutrality a chance to be a reality by 2030.”
The Conservative administration has previously rejected calls to declare a climate emergency calling the target ‘arbitrary’, however Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Innovation, Rebecca Long-Bailey spoke for the whole party when she said “perhaps more than anything, declaring an emergency means that we will devote the time and resources to the problem that are commensurate with its scale.” Bold policy is needed when the stakes are so high. We are already standing on thin ice so it’s high time to act quickly and to act now.
The motion calls on the “Council’s Corporate Plan to have the reduction of environmental impact at its core… [demanding] A baseline assessment of carbon footprint plus targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and accessible and transparent reporting”. It demands that “A strategy needs to be in place by 2020 plus an Independent Climate Change Board to be appointed which will collaboratively develop new ideas and scrutinise progress in the district”.