Council asks residents for ideas to help them reach zero carbon emissions target by 2050
PUBLISHED: 17:20 08 January 2020
East Cambridgeshire District Council is asking residents for tips on how they can reach their 2050 zero carbon emissions target.
The ideas forum is part of the council's 'Think Zero' scheme, which was agreed when the council declared a climate emergency in October.
Other measures the council is taking include developing a planning document for the natural environment, conducting a review of the use of pesticides and the grass cutting schedule of open spaces.
The council is also developing a parks and open spaces eco plan to reduce adverse environmental impacts and increase biodiversity.
It is also going to promote tree schemes by the Woodland Trust and others to encourage tree planting.
It will also assess consider new carbon emission free vehicles when any council owned vehicle comes to the end of its life.
The meeting that agreed the climate change motion, heard from petitioner Kim Ashton who said: "We are facing an unprecedented climate and ecological catastrophe.
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"Leading scientists have warned that if we carry on our business as usual and don't take emergency action on climate change, we face the gravest threats to our global environment.
"This includes worsening risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty. Extreme weather events are already being seen, even in East Cambs which experienced severe drought last year."
Council leader Anna Bailey acknowledged that a climate change emergency should be declared. She said the current generation has a duty to protect and improve the health of our planet.
There was a protracted debate over the way the council should respond, with many amendments being put forward and lost before agreement was reached.
Cllr Bailey outlined what actions had already been taken ranging from buses, to employment, to recycling, planning, landscaping, plastics, energy reduction and fuel poverty through to electric charging points, LED lighting, and the low carbon Swaffham Prior Community Heat Scheme.
A motion adopted - eventually - by councillors set out part of that proposed strategy.
It included the reference to climate emergency requiring 'urgent action; and committing the council to the launch of its ideas forum.
Wide ranging measures that formed her substantive motion will now be absorbed into council practice.
Included will be such things incentives/discounts for ultra low an d zero emission taxis, extra water refill stations on council premises, more trees being planted, use of pesticides, and changes to planning guidelines.