Stevenage climate emergency motion to be discussed by council

PUBLISHED: 11:37 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:38 14 June 2019

A motion to declare a climate emergency in Stevenage will be discussed next week at a meeting open to the public. Picture: Grae Wall

A motion to declare a climate emergency in Stevenage will be discussed next week at a meeting open to the public. Picture: Grae Wall

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A motion to declare a climate emergency in Stevenage will be discussed at a specially arranged meeting next week.

Councillor John Gardener has tabled a motion for Stevenage Borough Council to update its Climate Change Strategy 2016-21 to reflect a new goal of reaching zero carbon emissions in the town by 2050.

To maintain the current rate of emissions reduction, the motion says that further changes to national policy and infrastructure would be required across industry, commercial, transport and domestic sectors.

The latest available statistics from 2016 show that Stevenage's carbon emissions were 42 per cent from industry, 33 per cent from domestic sources and 25 per cent from transport. According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, between 2005-2016, total emissions from Stevenage declined by 34 per cent.

If approved at the borough council's extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, June 12, the motion promises to continually reduce council building and fleet emissions by developing carbon reduction projects.

A Stevenage Climate Charter would be established by October to help with this aim, allowing residents and businesses to create and commit to their own carbon management plans - which it says will help the town reach its goal of zero emission status by 2050.

Further to this, members of Stevenage's community would be able to monitor the town's progress against targets through a Stevenage People's Assembly - expected in 2020.

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The motion also highlights intentions for SBC to continue its joint partnerships in Herts, with more co-operation between the Herts Sustainability Forum, Waste Partnership and Infrastructure and Planning partnership expected.

READ MORE: State of climate emergency declared in North Herts

Cllr Gardener, executive member for environment and regeneration at SBC, said: "Our target is very, very ambitious - but it can be achieved.

"The council can't control the whole town, so we want people to sign up to targets they know they can achieve.

"If we really care about our planet and our environment, getting to zero carbon emissions is what we need to do."

Next Wednesday's meeting when the motion will be discussed starts at 7pm in the Council Chamber at SBC's offices in Danestrete.

Members of the public can attend to listen to the debate on the motion, which will be preceded by presentations from Dr Sue Parham head of urbanism and planning at the University of Hertfordshire - and Jonathan Gilbert, technical consultant at sustainability firm BREEAM.

- Editor's note: We previously reported that a climate emergency had already been declared after Stevenage Borough Council put out a series of tweets to this effect on Twitter. It has now been established that this has not happened, prior to next week's meeting when the motion will be discussed.

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