Climate change is a global emergency but Calderdale Council should do more to help deal with it, says a Cabinet member.
When Calderdale Council meets next week councillors will be asked to support a Labour group motion declaring a climate emergency and the creation of a Climate Change Committee to set a new carbon reduction target for the council and take the lead on delivering it.
Cabinet member and Labour spokesman for Planning, Housing and the Environment, Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden), said the Labour group had formulated the motion it wants the council to pass following more than 200 nations including the UK agreeing to take tough action on global warming at the recent Climate Change Conference in Poland.
Calderdale Council is on course to hit its current carbon reduction targets but these targets need to be drastically changed if global temperature rises are to be kept within 1.5c, said Coun Sutherland.
Temperature rises above this level will have a devastating effect on the climate and will increase the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events which causes floods – of which Calderdale has seen severe ones, most recently on Boxing Day 2015 – and crop failures, he said.
“The time we have to act is rapidly running out.
“This truly is an emergency and will require significant action at local, national and international levels if we are to limit the damage being caused to our environment and provide a secure future for the next generation.
“The effects of extreme weather events have had a major impact on us locally and we are calling for the whole borough to get behind us in responding to this challenge,” said Coun Sutherland.
It is proposed the new committee should have representation from all party groups as well as from academics and community activists with expert knowledge in this field.
It also calls upon the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, of which Calderdale is a member, and the Government to provide the resources and powers to make this target achievable so
that Calderdale can contribute to the UK fulfilling its carbon reduction commitments, said Coun Sutherland.
The full Calderdale Council meets at Halifax Town Hall next Wednesday, January 30, from 6pm.