Council has 12-year window to try to take action after declaring ‘climate emergency’

PUBLISHED: 17:06 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 25 February 2019

The Extinction Rebellion group outside Weston Town Hall.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Extinction Rebellion group outside Weston Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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‘We cannot let down the future generations’ – North Somerset Council declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The Extinction Rebellion group outside Weston Town Hall.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Extinction Rebellion group outside Weston Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steps will be taken to explore the costs and actions needed to try to make North Somerset carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillors voted unanimously to support the motion put forward by councillors Tom Leimdorfer and Mike Bell to a full council meeting on February 19.

Green Party member, Cllr Leimdorfer told last week’s meeting young people had ‘woken up’ and were taking action.

He said: “By the time they are the decision makers, the tipping point will have long past. They look to us not to let them down.

“In the past half century, we have wiped out 60 per cent of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles.

“We are facing mass extinction of life and eventually of human life.”

Council leader, Nigel Ashton, made an amendment to the motion to ask officers to prepare a report for future actions the authority could take to reduce emissions, with an idea of costs required.

He said: “We want to take this seriously and produce a proper report.

“North Somerset has already shown commitment and set targets for reductions, we will continue to be leaders on this topic.”

The formation of environmental action group Extinction Rebellion Weston started the calls for change, with a spokesman calling on the councillors to ‘save our future’.

Cllr Bell said: “We have a 12-year window to try to take action. The question we should all ask ourselves is ‘what do my children expect me to do?’.

“North Somerset could be at the forefront of the movement, it will create jobs and opportunities by bringing the community together and harvest ideas.

“We do not all know what the costs will be but by working together we can all make a difference.”

Plans to expand Bristol Airport were also debated, with some raising concerns it would only add to the emission problems.

Cllr Peter Burden said: “The problem with not allowing the airport to expand is we will see people travel further afield to places like Gatwick or Heathrow to fly, which will not help matters.”

Supporters of the motion cheered when councillors agreed to investigate what it can do.

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