12 years to Climate Crash Recognised by Dacorum Borough Council as All-Party Emergency Motion Passed

July 22, 2019 8:14 AM

The main item of the first Full Council since the May Local Elections was a Motion declaring a Climate Emergency in Dacorum.

Climate Change EmergencyDacorum is now committed to act significantly on the Climate; the Motion directs the Council organisation to put together a Strategy and Action Plan to reduce Carbon Dioxide generation, preserve bio-diversity, improve Air Quality and reduce plastic pollution, across all the functions of the Council, and to lead the local population in each individual doing their bit.

There is no doubt that, whilst most parties recognise the issue - from David Attenborough to Extinction Rebellion the message has received media coverage - action has come about in Dacorum because of the recent huge increase in Lib Dem Councillors on the Borough and also in the Town Councils of Tring and Berkhamsted, the latter of which acted immediately, at its first meeting after the 2nd May elections.

Newly-elected Councillor for Boxmoor, Liz Uttley commented:

"The 2018 IPCC report has induced national governments to set challenging targets for limiting emissions but if we are to prevent warming from exceeding 1.5 C then action is required at every level, from individual to international.
People have shown us that there is an appetite for action now and we need to seize this time to change. This IS an emergency, and it requires an emergency response. If we do not accept the necessary changes now, then the fall out in the years to come may be catastrophic."

At the Council meeting on Wednesday 17th July, an all-party Motion was proposed by Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Ron Tindall and seconded by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Williams. The Motion (full text below) was drafted by Cllrs Liz Uttley, Rick Freedman and Adrian England. It was passed unanimously.


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To assist and inform the development of the new Corporate Plan for 2020 - 2025, which will outline the council's vision and priorities for the next five years, this Council notes that -

  1. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence pointing to dangerous manmade climate change in terms of CO2 Global Warming, loss of habitat for wildlife leading to a dramatic drop in bio-diversity, alarming consequences of the accumulation of plastic waste across the planet and the continuing unsustainable depletion of natural resources. The harmful effect that such climate change and other human impact on the planet is increasingly feeding back into our lives, eco-systems, erratic rainfall and poor air quality.
  2. The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C published by the IPCC in October 2018 which describes the enormous harm that a 2C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause, and advises that limiting global warming to 1.5C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.
  3. Local residents have been actively involved in environmental initiatives and have organised into campaign groups looking to influence all levels of government policy. DBC recognises that this is a reflection of their concerns about climate change and loss of biodiversity.
  4. UK Central Government has announced a target for net zero emissions of greenhouse gas by 2050 for the UK, and Council recognises that if this is to be achieved, immediate action and progress in advance of that schedule is required at all levels of government.
  5. Dacorum Borough Council has been working on environmental issues, based upon the "Nottingham Declaration" endorsed by Council in 2000 and in continuing to improve recycling rates.
  6. District authorities are well placed to lead the vanguard in reducing carbon emissions and protecting biodiversity, as their responsibility for planning policies and housing stock opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings, household and commercial/community waste and energy opportunities.
  7. This Council has control over local policies and services, the Local Plan and particularly the specification of the housing stock.


In recognition of the factors noted above the Council resolves to -

  1. Join other councils at all levels of Local Government in declaring a climate emergency that requires urgent planning and action, and commits to work towards reducing carbon emissions across the full range of council activities to net zero by the end of budget year 2029/30, this to include the production of a strategy and action plan to make the activities of Dacorum Borough Council carbon neutral by 2030 in accordance with the IPCC recommendation
  2. Evaluate all practical means to reduce then impact of council services on the environment as soon as possible.
  3. Work with the established groups of Hertfordshire Public Sector Organisations to review their services and implement measures to reduce their impact on the environment and climate breakdown.
  4. Urge the two Dacorum Members of Parliament to impress upon Central Government the need for regulations and resources that will support communities to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
  5. Ensure the new Local Plan and associated regulations when adopted contains all available measures to cut carbon emissions and reduce the impact on the environment.
  6. Having regard for the duties required under the General Fund Account and the Housing Revenue Account, and consider the use of available reserves to introduce improvements to social housing energy efficiency.
  7. Implement evolving environmental best practice wherever/whenever there is an opportunity to re-specify services at reasonable and cost-effective intervals.
  8. Engage with local residents and businesses, in all sectors of our communities to publicise this declaration and gain their active support in reducing and preventing environmental harms and tackling climate change by making wise, early, significant choices towards achieving carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability.

Proposed by Cllr. Ron Tindall

Seconded by Cllr. Andrew Williams