Wolverhampton and Cannock Chase councils declare climate emergency
A ‘climate emergency’ has been declared by Wolverhampton Council as it announces plans to make the city greener by 2028.
The local authority has become the first in the Black Country to commit to reducing carbon emissions as it pledges to reduce CO2 levels to zero by 2028.
Cannock Chase Council has also declared a climate emergency.
Members of Wolverhampton Youth Council presented a video to the chamber at a full-council meeting on Wednesday, outlining the importance of tackling climate change.
This came before the motion to declare the climate emergency was passed.
Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: “The first six of 15 electric vehicle charge points are coming in August this year, and we are seeking investment and funding for electric buses.
“We aren’t going to get rid of cars overnight and neither should we, but we should be responsible and keep traffic moving.
“We have a number of good examples already, and we support our young people, it’s not just about today, it’s about tomorrow.”
Conservative Councillor Jane Stevenson filed an amendment to the motion, calling for clearer figures on the cost of reducing CO2 by 2028, and how the council would tackle issues such as single use plastics.
As only one of two Tories who remained in the meeting, the amendment was thrown out.
The debate that preceded the climate emergency motion saw the other eight conservatives leave the chamber after a row over the Civic Halls plans.
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi said: “One of the biggest issues facing the country right now is climate change.
“As our council is about to move a motion to declare a climate change emergency and receive a presentation from our Youth Council, eight out of 10 Tory councillors shamefully stormed out of the Council chamber.
“It’s utterly embarrassing that they would behave in this way.
“I’d urge them to issue a full apology to the young people who came to our meeting who were excited and energised to deliver a presentation to all of our city councillors.
“I’d also like to commend Councillor Stevenson and Councillor Appleby for having the respect and decency to see this motion through and not following their colleagues.”
Meanwhile in Cannock
Cannock Chase councillors have joined local authorities across the country in declaring a climate emergency – and set an ambitious target to become carbon neutral in just over a decade.
About 130 county and district councils have already declared a climate emergency and are now working towards reducing their carbon emissions.
Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council are due to consider climate emergency motions next week.
At a meeting earlier this week council leader George Adamson presented the motion, which was seconded by Green Party group leader Councillor Paul Woodhead and approved with 26 votes in favour. There were 14 abstentions.
Councillor Adamson said: “As far as I’m aware there are two charging points in the district, which is not good enough.
"I have asked (cabinet member for environment) John Preece to look at this and installing more electric charging points in our car parks.
"As a council and as individuals we can make a small impact – collectively we can make a huge impact.”