Teignbridge declares a climate emergency

April 2019

The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor J Hook and supported by Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Hayes, G Hook, Nutley, Parker and Wrigley.

Background

Council Notes:

  1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.  Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. 
  2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible.
  3. Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;
  4. Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;
  5. Our current plans and actions are not enough.  The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit before 2050.
  6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 degrees Celsius, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.
  7. Local Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

Council believes that:

  1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognize this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.  It is important for Teignbridge Council and other Councils to commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.
  2. Towns, Cities and Local Authorities at all tiers are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions; they are well placed to help decarbonize villages and more remote areas as they have closer links with their residents.
  3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved personal, social and environmental well-being for people, locally and worldwide.

Motion:

Teignbridge District Council will,

  1. Declare a ‘climate emergency’
  2. Pledge to do what is within our powers, to make Teignbridge District carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.
  3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary for Teignbridge District to achieve the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and to implement best practice methods to limit global warming to 1.5C.
  4. Report to Full Council within six months with an Action Plan, outlining how the Council will address this emergency. The Action Plan will detail the leadership role Teignbridge District will take in promoting community, public, business and other Council partnerships to achieve this Carbon Neutral 2030 Commitment throughout the District. The Action Plan will also outline adequate staff time and resources to undertake the actions to achieve the target.
  5. To investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment

August 2019 Newletter

This email is to update you on what has been happening since the meeting on 4th July. We’ve been busy organising the next stage of Teignbridge Climate Emergency Action Group’s (TCEAG’s) work, and collating all the suggestions made at the meeting.

One of the first tasks is to set up a Steering Group to take over from the four of us.  We have contacted everyone who expressed interest in being part of this subgroup, and invited them to its first meeting this Friday.  The meeting will discuss what the steering group’s role should be, and, in particular, the best way to support existing and new initiatives around Teignbridge which help deliver the Council’s zero carbon target.  The group will share the results of its meeting with everyone.

The steering group might well decide there should be sub-groups, for Food, Farming, Transport and other themes.  If so, and you have expressed interest in one of the themes, you should receive an email next week about joining that subgroup.

For those who can’t wait or are not too keen on meetings, our facebook group is a good place to find out about some existing local initiatives, and have conversations to start new ones.  There are many local initiatives you can be involved with.  So why not have a conversation and exchange some ideas there. 

The other thing worth mentioning is that momentum to take action is growing across the district.  More and more parish councils are declaring climate emergencies, and Dartmoor National Park Authority has just done so (also with at 2025 target date).  We are moving as quickly as we can so that TCEAG can respond to these developments, but, of course, please do contact and work with your local council direct.  Many of them will be unsure how what action to take to deliver on their declarations.

Finally, we want to make you aware that we have set up a mailing list with your name, e-mail, location and areas of interest on MailChimp.  You can change your details (or remove them completely) using the links below.  We will, of course, keep your personal details private, and only use  these to contact you about the Teignbridge Climate Emergency Action Group’s work.

Looking forward to working with you all
Penny, Andrew, Audrey & Fuad