COUNCIL chiefs have pledged to to take action to tackle climate change.
Stratford District Council has joined some 130 authorities across the UK which have declared a climate emergency.
A motion – proposed by Liberal Democrat leader Susan Juned – gained cross-party support this week with just one abstention from Conservative councillor John Feilding, who said he did know enough about the issue to vote.
The declaration marks the council’s aim to make the district carbon neutral – when emissions are balanced out by measures to counteract them – by 2030.
Council leader Tony Jefferson said ‘enhanced levels of adaptation’ would be needed to offset the impacts of climate change locally and work to take measures would need to start ‘very soon’.
He added: “We can expect more floods and more droughts and pressure on water supply, we need to ensure that we are taking action now to manage these risks.
“Taking action will require some tough decisions and will have a significant impact on all of us – I hope people understand that this will be the price we all need to pay.”
The move follows a 1,500 strong petition launched by Stratford Climate Action campaigner Stephen Norrie.
He said: “The council is developing a plan and it’s good to see concerned councillors involved taking issues seriously.
“I think the focus will be on reducing traffic emissions, provisions for cyclists and getting cars off the road.
“These are ambitious targets but the plan is to get people involved and find ways they can do their bit.
“It’s very heartening that we have passed this and very encouraging to hear councillors challenging this and each other. I hope that when faced with difficult choices they remember that they passed this and committed to this.”
Across the world, scientists and eco-activists have pledged to limit inevitable global warming to just 1.5 degrees celsius rather than the predicted four degrees scientists estimate would be reached if action was not taken.