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Time to take action on climate change say councillors

‘We are serious about tackling climate change’ was the message coming out of the district council chamber in Stratford this week after members agreed a set of tough goals to help the planet.

Climate Change (49039755)
Climate Change (49039755)

During Monday’s Cabinet meeting members agreed to work with Warwick District Council on a shared list of ambitions to cut carbon emissions.

Should Warwick District Council agree to these ambitions Today (Thursday), it will enable both authorities to intensify their work in this area.

The climate targets include the council becoming carbon net zero by 2025, to reduce net carbon emissions in South Warwickshire by a minimum of 55 per cent by 2030 and to help the region adapt for a potential three degree rise in global temperatures by 2100.

Despite members agreeing to the measures, there was some criticism that the council was being overambitious.

Cllr Trevor Harvey said: “In setting ambitions they have to be stretching and challenging, but they have to be realistic, I’m concerned our ambitions will overstretch our capabilities.”

He added: “I’m concerned that we can’t take our residents with us because of the cost and the cost will bear most heavily on those who are least able to afford the changes. My concern is we keep our ambitions in proportion to our resources and our capabilities.

“To deliver on these kinds of targets we will absolutely need government support, cash persuasion and energy.”

The climate ambitions agreement comes following a report commissioned by both Stratford and Warwick District Councils that laid bare the huge task ahead in tackling climate change in the region.

That report essentially said the council could not act alone and the support of residents and the need for further government support would be vital if the authority is to get anywhere near its climate change targets.

During Monday’s meeting deputy leader Cllr Daren Pemberton took issue with the notion that Stratford District Council was dragging its feet on climate change, insisting it was leading in this area and was actually the first local authority in the country to engage with Met Office data concerning the climate.

Cllr Ian Shenton said: “Hopefully this will give out the clear unambiguous message that we are serious about climate change, we will be lead by the Government, science, data and look to do what we can do with the resources that we have, being sensible and pragmatic but with a clear eye on the goal to reduce emissions. We need help from every resident and every business sector.”

He added the council’s approach to climate change would evolve as more data became available.

The proposals include a joined programme of work with Warwick District Council to develop a Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP) covering the whole of South Warwickshire and commitment to delivering many of the recommendations brought forward by the People’s Inquiry into Climate Change.

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