Agenda item

Motion: Climate Change

Councillor J.C.S. Essex will move and Councillor H. Brown will second the following Motion:

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018 states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius.

All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate change, and local authorities that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK cities, boroughs and districts need to commit to ambitious reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible

Carbon emissions from the Council’s estate and operations totalled 4,939 tonnes of CO2 in 2012/13. In 2016, the residents and businesses in Reigate and Banstead Borough spent a total of £246 million on energy and fuel bills. If we invested in all of the profitable energy efficiency and low carbon options available now our total energy bills would be cut by £64 million a year (including £18m for households and a further £18m in schools, hospitals, offices, shops and restaurants in the area). Source:  http://www.candocities.org/sites/default/files/Reigate%20and%20Banstead.pdf

Reigate and Banstead Council has already shown foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of climate breakdown: (a) Reigate and Banstead previously committed to a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from its estate and services between March 2009 and March 2014; (b) This had resulted in a 19.5% reduction was achieved as of March 2012, saving £260,000 per year.  (Source: latest Council energy performance data on Council website).

Our current plans and actions will not be enough, given that the world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5?C limit before 2050. Other Local Authorities are currently responding to the IPCC report and Reigate and Banstead Council should continue to be at the forefront, working with other Councils in taking a leadership role.

In light of the above, I request that the Council approves the following: 

1.    Update its 2010 Carbon Management Plan in light of the recent IPCC report. This should include the setting of a carbon neutral target for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and a governance structure to ensure close monitoring of the Plan;

2.    Integrate this (1 above) into the Council’s commitment and leadership to businesses and strategic partners, to deliver widespread carbon reductions across the borough; and

3.    Call on the Government to provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier.

 

Minutes:

Councillor J.C.S. Essex moved and Councillor H. Brown seconded a Motion, concerning Climate Change, set out on the front sheet of the agenda.

The Council was informed that in the opinion of the Mayor the Motion was convenient and conducive to the conduct of business. It was noted that: 

-       The Motion would be dealt with in accordance with a procedure note that had been prepared and circulated to all Members (prior to the meeting) in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.17.3. 

-       On conclusion of the discussion the Motion would be referred to the Executive for consideration.

During the discussion a wide range of issues were considered, including

-       The IPCC Special Report on Global Change published in October 2018. A key message was that the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes, was already being seen across the world.

-       The need for all governments (national, regional and local) to do more to limit the negative impacts of climate change.

-       Research from the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, at Leeds University, highlighting UK cities could cut their energy bills significantly by exploiting commercially attractive opportunities in energy and carbon management.

-       Carbon emissions from the Council’s own estate and operations.

-       The need to review and update the Council’s Carbon Management Plan.

-       Recent Council initiatives, including action taken in relation to eliminating the use of single use plastics, from its buildings, assets and facilities (seeking alternative, reusable, compostable or recyclable solutions instead).

-       The need to provide all Members with appropriate learning and development opportunities to ensure a better understanding of the subject.

-       The importance of addressing Climate Change as part of the upcoming review of the Council’s Corporate Plan and ensuring appropriate funding was in place to support this.

On conclusion of the debate, Councillor M.A. Brunt moved, and Councillor A.C.J. Horwood seconded, a procedural amendment to replace the wording set out in bullet point 2 of the original Motion. The mover of the Motion, Councillor J.C.S. Essex confirmed his support for this amendment and it was:  

RESOLVED that the amended Motion on Climate Change, outlined below, be referred to the Executive for consideration:

1.    That the council be requested to update its Carbon Management Plan in light of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018. This should include the setting of a carbon neutral target for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and a governance structure to ensure close monitoring of the Plan;

2.    That the Executive be requested to take full account of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018 as part of its upcoming review of the Corporate Plan for the 2020-2025 period and to consider integrating this Motion into the draft Corporate Plan to be considered by the council later in the year; and       

3.    That the council be requested to call on Government to provide the necessary powers and resources in order to make local action on climate change easier.