The leaders of Stroud District Council’s cooperative alliance have issued a joint statement declaring a climate emergency following the recent IPCC report which warned that humanity has only 12 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming greater than 1.5°C.
‘We need to declare a climate emergency,’ the statement says from the Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat leaders who jointly run the council in a cooperative alliance. ‘Central government is failing to act fast enough on reducing carbon emissions so local government has to take the lead. Stroud District Council was the first carbon neutral council in Europe. Now we need to commit to getting a zero carbon district by 2030, before it is too late. We will work with our public sector partners in Gloucestershire to commit to a target to become a zero carbon county as part of Gloucestershire Vision 2050. We will also work locally in partnership with our communities and the public and private sector, to make our fair contribution to limiting global temperature rises to below 1.5C in line with the Paris Climate agreement.’
‘Our government is failing to do enough,’ said council leader Doina Cornell, leader of the Labour group. ‘The country is even going backwards in some areas like the promotion of fossil fuel extraction like fracking. A zero carbon district by 2030 is ambitious, and will need everyone not just politicians to be involved, but we owe it to the future to do this. Time is running out and we need to be bold and brave.’
Green Group leader Martin Whiteside adds ‘Our Council can’t do this alone. We will work with local residents, business, public sector partners and central Government to achieve this bold plan. It will be a tough challenge, but there will also be trenedous benefits of sustainable local jobs and quality of life.
Cllr Ken Tucker, Liberal Democrat Group Leader said ‘SDC were delighted in 2015 to become the first local council in Europe to obtain carbon neutral status and it is therefore opportune that we should now take the lead to achieve the same throughout the whole of Stroud District. Although this will not be easy, I believe that local residents and businesses appreciate the environmental benefits of reducing carbon emissions and that their support in achieving the 2030 target will be essential in halting the rise in global temperatures that we are now experiencing.’
Stroud District Council has been run by a cooperative alliance of Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat since 2012.