Petition

Climate Emergency Petition to St Albans District Council goes LIVE on 11th May

**PLEASE COME BACK TO SIGN DURING SUSTFEST19**

We ask St Albans District Council to declare a climate emergency, and play a greater part in responding to it, with urgency.

The recent IPCC report warned that humanity has 11 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming greater than 1.5°C. Above this, the risks to humanity of floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty become much greater, impacting on hundreds of millions more people.

Responding to this climate emergency is a non-party-political issue, which will affect us and our children for generations to come, requiring cooperation and collaboration across party-lines.

We note the progress the Council has already made.  The latest report shows that the Council has reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions by 19% since 2008/09, and is on track to achieve the target of 20% by 2020.  This is a real achievement, but much more needs to be done for our district to play its full part in preventing climate change with the urgency required.

We ask the Council to:

  1. Declare that it recognises a Climate Emergency,
  2. Pledge to do everything within the Council’s power to make the whole of St Albans city and district carbon neutral by 2030,
  3. Within this, develop an ambitious sustainability strategy for reducing the Council’s own emissions, with an objective that the Council becomes carbon neutral by 2030,
  4. Call on national government for more powers and resources to make this pledge possible,
  5. Continue to work with partners across the district and region to deliver this new goal, through all relevant strategies and plans,
  6. Take account of climate impacts within existing decision-making processes,
  7. Report back to full Council in six months on an action plan to address the emergency, and then every six months after this on the progress being made, and
  8. Dedicate sufficient staff and budget to achieve these aims, including training all Council staff and councillors.

The petition is a community-led endeavour, prepared by the local charity Sustainable St Albans with the support of St Albans Friends of the Earth.

Petition will be LIVE for you to sign on 11th May


Background – many other councils are doing this, around the UK

A growing number of other UK town, city and county councils have taken the step of declaring a climate emergency.  A range of different motions have been passed, but most pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and to implement action plans to achieve this.

Global Warmingpic

Other UK councils which have declared a climate emergency (as of April 2019)

Brighton Hove City Council

Bristol City Council

Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Calderdale

Carlisle City Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Cheltenham City & District Council

Cornwall County Council

Devon County Council

Durham County Council

Forest of Dean District Council

Frome Town Council

Greater London Authority

Herefordshire Council

Kirklees Metropolitan District Council

Lambeth Borough Council

Lancaster City Council

Leeds City Council

Leicester City Council

Manchester City Council

Machynlleth Town Council

Mendip District Council

Milton Keynes

North Somerset District Council

Nottingham City Council

Oswestry Town Council

Oxford City Council

Plymouth Council

Portsmouth City Council

Powys

Reading Borough Council

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Scarborough Borough Council

Sheffield Council

Somerset County Council

South Lakeland District Council

Stroud District Council

Totnes Town Council

Trafford Council

Vale of White Horse

Wiltshire Council

York Council

Background : Why treat it as an emergency?

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A Climate Emergency declaration issued by a body in authority, such as a government or local council, can be a powerful catalyst for community-wide action if paired with a clear action plan.

The recent IPCC report warned that humanity has 11 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming greater than 1.5°C. Above this, the risks to humanity of floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty become much greater, impacting on hundreds of millions more people.

People expect an emergency announcement when there is a life-threatening situation, and will hesitate to take any action themselves if nobody else appears to be taking the threat seriously. Think of a fire alarm. People might initially think it is just a drill, and will ignore it if everyone else does. But as soon as someone who is considered to be a leader says the fire is indeed real and points out the safest exit to use, everyone will drop what they are doing and evacuate.

So declaring a climate emergency is a vital first step.  It will empower our community, encourage others to follow suit, and help all of us treat the climate crisis as the existential emergency that it is.

So declaring a climate emergency is a vital first step.  It will empower our community, encourage others to follow suit, and help all of us treat the climate crisis as the existential emergency that it is.