July 12, 2019 9.42 am This story is over 29 months old

Council becomes first in Lincolnshire to declare climate emergency

Councillors said it made a “public statement”

North Kesteven District Council has become the first local authority in Lincolnshire to declare a climate emergency.

Last night, councillors passed a motion to make the declaration and work with businesses and residents to tackle climate change.

The authority will also develop a new environment strategy and policy and look at pilot programmes to reduce the district’s reliance on fossil fuel technology.

NK Independent Councillor Marianne Overton, who tabled the motion, said the declaration “makes a public statement”.

Marianne Overton, one of the NK Independents’ members. Photo: Daniel Jaines

“It fits really well with the decisions we have been taking as a council and where we want to go,” she said.

“We are all working together and taking a leading role for our communities and making a better life for them.”

Council leader Richard Wright welcomed the declaration and added that the council had already taken steps to tackle climate change, such as removing single use plastics from the authority and reducing emissions by 67% over the last 10 years.

Councillor Peter Lundgren said the North Kesteven motion was about young people, in particular his daughter’s generation.

North Kesteven District Council leader Richard Wright. Photo: Steve Smailes/Lincolnshire Reporter

“This is about our young people, this is an issue for the next generation,” he said.

“It’s something that our generation and perhaps our grandfather’s generation have left to them.

“I hope this goes some way to telling young people that we do care.”

More than 100 authorities across the UK have passed motions declaring a climate emergency.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners outside Lincolnshire County Council offices ahead of a climate emergency motion which was rejected. Picture: Calvin Robinson.

The declarations are often followed up with further motions, such as a pledge to become carbon neutral over the next decade.

MPs made their own declaration in May, although it did not legally require the government to act.

Last night’s vote means North Kesteven becomes the first authority in Lincolnshire to declare a climate emergency.

Lincolnshire County Council rejected a motion make a declaration and become carbon neutral by 2030 back in May.

The authority said it “recognised” there was a climate problem and instead made a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners said the move “was not good enough”.

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