Climate change protest to greet Calderdale councillors

A protest is planned outside Halifax town hall tonight
A protest is planned outside Halifax town hall tonight

Councillors arriving at today's full meeting of Calderdale Council will be greeted by climate change campaigners who are arguing proposals to tackle it locally do not go far enough.

A Labour group motion is urging councillors to support 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.

But a member of the Extinction Rebellion climate change campaign group in Calderdale said although they were pleased the council was proposing to declare a Climate Emergency and to go Carbon Zero as soon as possible, they were disappointed it did not go far enough.

She said: “This motion follows Greater Manchester, London, Stroud, Scarborough, Bradford and Kirklees all declaring a Climate Emergency and to go Carbon Zero (carbon neutral) by 2030 or various dates around that time.

“However, we are disappointed that Calderdale’s proposed motion is the weakest of all of these, in that they do not mention a date for Carbon Zero, or allocate any funds.

“Scarborough, for example, have allocated £80,000 for a two year dedicated post to attend to this. We are also disturbed to hear from a Calderdale councillor who does not agree with climate science, which is exact opposition to international governmental recommendations,” she said.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners plan to be at Halifax Town hall from 5pm on Wednesday (January 30) to inform and welcome councillors, she said. The council meeting starts at 6pm.

The group says last October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a landmark report which warned that humanity has only 12 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming greater than 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

The report warns that any warming above this, by even half a degree, will significantly worsen the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people, including severe impacts in the UK, which were then outlined in a Met Office report issued in November.