Today at Gloucestershire County Council a motion on a “Carbon action plan” was debated. Through a process of amendments, the Greens strengthened the motion, brought by the Liberal Democrats, by proposing the council declare a climate emergency, and strengthening the carbon reduction targets.
Cllr Rachel Smith said ‘I’m delighted we have secured consensus for strong, county-wide carbon reduction targets, in addition to cutting the emissions from the county council’s services, buildings and estate. I’m particularly pleased we now have a commitment to examining the steps required for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 across the whole of Gloucestershire’.
Rachel added, ‘By working together with our partners and neighbours, the county council can take forward the changes necessary to play our part in mitigating catastrophic climate change. Today’s meeting shows the importance of having Greens in the room to bring ambition, and the flexibility to create cross-party consensus.’
Following lengthy debate, there was unanimous support for the motion, which commits the county council to carbon neutral status in its buildings and estate by 2030, and will commit to looking into an 80% county-wide carbon reduction by 2030, and a full carbon neutral Gloucestershire by 2050.
Stroud District, Forest of Dean and Cheltenham Borough have all declared climate emergencies in recent months, and have committed to strive for carbon neutral targets across their districts by 2030. Additionally, in 2015 Stroud District Council became the first carbon neutral local authority in Europe in terms of its own estate and operations.
Cllr Eva Ward said ‘The debate today took time but it was crucial in enabling the council to reach consensus. As greens we will be using our positions at the county council to take forward actions, and hold the administration to account on strong climate action.’