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19th Oct, 2021

Warwickshire needs to step up fight against climate change warn Greens

TIME is running out for Warwickshire say Green councillors as they call for urgent strengthening of plans to tackle climate change.

They are urging leaders at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to take immediate action after an International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted not enough was being done to avoid catastrophic weather events.

The Greens have proposed seven actions to increase the pace of change covering areas like building standards, transport emissions and stopping investing pension money in fossil fuels.

These will be put before all Warwickshire councillors at a meeting on September 28.

Coun Will Roberts, who is making the proposals, said: “The latest IPCC report (August 2021) was loud and clear – the climate emergency is not something we will face in the future but is happening right now.

“Warwickshire County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, but their current plans now fall short in addressing the climate emergency facing us all.

“We’re running out of time. This motion means the council is able to step up its actions making sure Warwickshire is doing its bit and help protecting its residents. It’s hard to ignore the science or the terrible weather events that have cost so many lives over the last year alone.

“It’s also important we understand the financial implications so we can properly plan to reduce our carbon emissions. If governments and councils had acted to reduce their emissions decades ago then the cost of action today would be negligible. We must act now so future Warwickshire generations don’t pay the cost in more than one way.”

The Greens are calling on the council to take the following steps to strengthen its own climate action plan:

* Develop for consideration a fully costed plan based on bringing forward its commitment to become a climate neutral council from 2030 to 2025 and the aim for the whole of Warwickshire from 2050 to 2033 and setting an indicative carbon budget for Warwickshire through to 2100

Creating a dedicated ‘Carbon Management Team’ to implement and manage the council’s climate goals from April 2022.

Building all new WCC buildings, schools and any buildings built with aid of WCC funding to carbon neutral and fabric-first standards, including the creation of a dedicated team to manage the council’s retrofit schemes across the county.

* Ensure all new procurement and grants require a plan to be incorporated into the award documentation with the expectation that all partner organisations will be carbon net zero by 2030.

* By 2025 over two thirds of the council’s new transport capital investment is in walking, cycling routes, rail schemes, electric buses and charging rather than building new roads for vehicles causing more dangerous air pollution.

* Ask the leader of the council to write to the chair of the Warwickshire Pension Fund Investment Sub Committee requesting it to divest from all companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels.

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