Extinction Rebellion urge residents to back Warwick District Council's Climate Action Fund - The Leamington Observer

Extinction Rebellion urge residents to back Warwick District Council's Climate Action Fund

Catherine Thompson 25th Feb, 2020 Updated: 25th Feb, 2020   0

EXTINCTION Rebellion (XR) members in the district are urging residents to support a proposed council increase to help fight climate change.

Warwick District Council recently announced plans to hold a referendum on whether to raise council tax to generate around £3million a year for a Climate Action Fund – the first of its kind in the country. Under the proposals, residents in an average Band D property would pay an increase of £1 per week or £52 a year – a 30 per cent rise on the district council’s current precept.

The proposed move aims to reduce congestion, improve air quality, enhance biodiversity and produce more energy efficient homes and public buildings.

And XR member and resident Dominic Harrison is urging residents to support the move and play their part in taking action against ‘irreversible climate breakdown’.

He said: “Urgent action is needed at all levels from individuals, communities, among corporations and at governmental level if we are to avoid irreversible climate breakdown. If any of these pieces fail to make the change, or delays action until the other acts, then collectively we will fail.

“If Warwick District Council is successful, then undoubtedly many other councils around the UK will have the confidence to follow. But if Warwick residents take the view ‘why should we be the first’? then further delay and inertia ensues.

“The question every resident needs to ask themselves is ‘if we don’t back this what is the alternative’? Central government has given no indication of increasing funding to councils, and the fact that they have stated carbon zero by 2050 – 20 years later than the UN climate scientists – indicates their lack of understanding on the subject.

“I understand that these are very tough choices and to hard pressed families the extra £1 per week may be unwelcome. But I urge any climate sceptics or anyone who doubts the urgency of this to read the science. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summary report provides the facts and they do not make comfortable reading.”

He went on to say CO2 levels continued to rise as world leaders remained in dispute over the matter despite the 25 United Nations Climate Change Conferences held since 1995.

And unless humans act fast, experts fear carbon dioxide levels will rocket by 2040 – resulting in record temperatures, freak weather incidents like storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, as well as drought.

Mr Harrison added: “If we delay further having to deal with the climate crisis then the costs of inaction will be even greater.

“I understand that these funds raised will be ring-fenced and audited, and that once raised will allow far more match-giving funds to follow. I believe the average increase of £1 per week, if we are to secure a future for us, our children and our natural world, is worth it. We all have a part to play in this fight against climate change and I hope we can all support it.”



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