Climate emergency could be declared in Honiton on Monday

Honiton Town Council is being recommended to declare a climate emergency next week – thanks to a member of the public.

Helen Whitten called the council to ask what it was doing to help address climate change. Many other local councils and Parliament have already made the move.

A motion being put to the full town council on Monday (August 12) suggests not just making the declaration but setting up a working party to make Honiton a carbon neutral town by 2030.

In a report due to be put before councillors, town clerk Mark Tredwin says Councillor Caroline Kolek was put in touch with Ms Whitten – which has resulted in a document and a proposal.

He pointed out: “A climate emergency has no single definition but it most instances refers to an area declaring that it would like to become carbon-neutral by a certain date. It will then usually set a plan to achieve this by the set date. Dates now vary from 2025 to 2040.

“The declaration of such a motion is such that it applies pressure to all levels of government and organisations that they interact with so that resources are put in place to reduce carbon emissions.”

Earlier this year, Parliament declared a climate emergency and a target of 2050 was set as the date for the end of
greenhouse gas emissions – a ‘first’ for a major economy.

Local councils to have declared climate emergencies include East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Teignbridge, Tiverton and Cullompton.

Mr Tredwin’s report states: “Some of the things that the town council can do or work towards are detailed in
Cllr Kolek’s report.

“Putting out information that is relevant and carefully thought through is one of the first steps.

“In the proposed resolution members are being asked to agree to set up a working party. The purpose of this working party will be to establish ways in which the council and the town can become carbon neutral by 2030.”

Cllr Kolek’s report will be put to councillors and considered at the meeting on Monday.

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