July 24, 2019 9.38 am This story is over 57 months old

Lincoln council declares climate emergency

It wants to tackle climate change “head on”

City of Lincoln Council became the second Lincolnshire authority to declare a climate emergency.

City councillors last night voted to make the declaration at a full council meeting held at The Guildhall.

Included in the motion was a commitment for the council to become carbon neutral by 2030.

It also called on Lincolnshire County Council and other district authorities to work with the council on “critical areas” such as  highways, energy, waste, health and wellbeing.

The authority’s leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe, said the council needed to “reboot its efforts” in tackling climate change.

City of Lincoln Council leader Ric Metcalfe. Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

“This council has made some progress, but it needs to make much more,” he said.

“We need to remain optimistic,” added Councillor Metcalfe.

“A lot of this debate can be fatalistic, but we all know there are lots of small changes that we can make that can make a difference.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Bob Bushell who proposed the motion, seconded by Councillor Lucinda Preston, said tackling climate change was the “biggest challenge we face”.

“As a council, we fully acknowledge that we do not have all the answers,” he said.

“But we do have the desire and commitment to work with others to do what we can.”

Rosemary Robinson, Extinction Rebellion campaigner, who said the council needs to “put its money where its mouth is”. Picture: Daniel Jaines for The Lincolnite.

Conservative councillor Thomas Dyer supported the motion and said that “all levels of government need to get on board” with tackling climate change.

Councillor Dyer also tabled an amendment calling on the authority to set up a sub-committee on the environment, ban single use plastics and replant trees which have been removed due to developments.

However, the amendment was voted down by councillors.

Meanwhile, Rosemary Robinson, a campaigner with Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire, said the move by the city council was a “big step forward”.

“I was very pleased to see both Labour and Conservative councillors supporting it,” she said.

“It’s really good because we are all in this together and we all need to work together to avert catastrophic climate change.”

She added that the group will continue to keep pressure on other authorities to make a declaration.

Earlier this month, North Kesteven District Council became the first authority in the county to declare a climate emergency.

The University of Lincoln also made a declaration of a climate emergency in May.

Lincolnshire County Council turned down a climate emergency motion, but argued it was committed to carbon targets.

MPs in Parliament also declared a climate emergency, but it did not legally tie the government to any action on climate change.

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