A climate emergency has been declared by East Riding of Yorkshire Council after councillors voted to adopt 12 recommendations following an extensive examination into how its policies and practices impact on climate change and the environment.
Councillor Mike Medini, chair of the cross-party climate change review panel, presented the findings and recommendations to members at a Full Council meeting held on Wednesday, 24 February.
The review panel was established in September 2019 following a call for councillors to declare a climate emergency and the aim of the panel was to look at what measures the council could take to continue to reduce its carbon footprint and help towards the fight against climate change.
Councillor Medini told members that during the review process, which was put on hold for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the panel found that the council were already undertaking many projects to reduce its carbon emissions and while “accepting work needed to pick up pace” they were pleased with the level of work already underway.
He said: “The review panel quickly established the council would not be able to achieve the level of work needed to tackle climate change without the collaboration of local partners and the willingness of organisations to work together and speak to the panel has been hugely impressive.”
And he added: “The scale of the work needed for the council to meet the Government’s target of being net zero by 2050 is immense and should not be underestimated.”
Presenting the 12 recommendations, Cllr Medini highlighted the main three:
- that the council develops a climate change strategy within 12 months
- that the council develops partnership working by building on existing relationships and creating new ones and helps influence behaviours and ambitions on climate change in both the public and private sector
- that the council declares a climate emergency.
Speaking after the Full Council meeting, Councillor Mike Stathers, deputy leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council was called upon to declare a climate emergency in the summer of 2019.
“But on such a serious subject the council wanted to go beyond the symbolic act of declaring an emergency but to place itself in the best position possible to achieve the goal shared by all residents, communities and businesses across the East Riding.
“The council has always recognised the threat of climate change and the risks it poses and has undertaken a great deal of work over the years to address this but we are not complacent and a great deal more work needs to be done.
“By adopting the recommendations of the review panel, the council now has a very clear and transparent strategy of how we are going to tackle climate change in the East Riding.”
* The full climate change review panel report and all the recommendations can be found at https://eryc.link/review-panel-reports