Council to debate announcing a ‘climate emergency’ for the whole of Northamptonshire

Protests by Extinction Rebellion both locally and in London have helped push climate change to the forefront of the council's thinking
Protests by Extinction Rebellion both locally and in London have helped push climate change to the forefront of the council's thinking

Northamptonshire County Council could be set to follow the lead of its borough counterparts in Northampton by declaring a ‘climate emergency’ and targeting becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

If the county council backs a motion from Liberal Democrat leader Chris Stanbra when it meets tomorrow (Thursday, June 20), then it would become the second council in the county to do so after Northampton Borough Council did so earlier this month.

The motion will be discussed during a full council meeting at County Hall in Northampton town centre

The motion will be discussed during a full council meeting at County Hall in Northampton town centre

The motion states: “This council recognises the strength of public opinion recently expressed in London and Northamptonshire [the Extinction Rebellion protests] on the issue of climate change and the need to address carbon reduction to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations.

“All levels of government have a duty to limit the impacts of climate breakdown. This council, therefore, declares a climate emergency in Northamptonshire and commits to a target of making Northamptonshire carbon neutral by 2030.”

It also calls on the successor councils – the two new unitary authorities that will replace the county council in 2021 – to continue this work when they come into existence.

Councillor Stanbra’s motion also requests that the council places climate change on the agenda of meetings with partners and will encourage ‘joint working’ across all sectors of local governance.

He also requests a report be submitted to a meeting of full council before the end of March 2020 detailing ‘the actions that have been taken to address and action this resolution’, as well as a further update shortly before the implementation of the unitary councils.

The UK parliament has also declared a climate emergency recently after a motion was approved in the House of Commons in May.

Meanwhile, other motions set to be discussed at the county council meeting include calls for leader Matt Golby to resign over the recent serious case reviews into the deaths of two children in the county, which came while under the watch of Councillor Golby in his previous role as cabinet member for children.

The chamber will also discuss a motion from Labour calling on the council to establish an anti-poverty strategy.