Three Rivers approves Climate Change Motion

04th June 2019

Three Rivers District Council heard about the climate change motion on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 which was put forward by the Leader, Cllr Sara Bedford and Councillors: Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Chris Lloyd, Alex Michaels, Sarah Nelmes, Andrew Scarth and Dominic Sokalski.

The motion asked for the details of the strategy and action plan be brought to its policy and resources committee by the end of 2019. It requested the council to work with partners in the public and private sector, engage with residents and businesses to gain their input and support. 

It commits the council to use all practical means to reduce the impact of council services on the environment, use all planning regulations and the Local Plan to cut carbon emissions and reduce the impact on the environment. It also calls for help from the Government to provide the support and resources needed to progress the action plan. 

Council leader Cllr Sara Bedford said: “Three Rivers may only be a tiny part of the global economy, but we need to play a local part to fight this global threat. We want to talk to residents, businesses and organisations, many of whom share our concerns, to find out what they think.”

Cllr Alex Michaels, Lead Member Environmental Services and Sustainability added: “I am pleased we have passed this motion. Climate change is an existential threat to humanity and the defining issue of our time. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction and nature everywhere declining at a speed never previously seen. 

“Three Rivers has an impressive record of innovation and has already delivered some change already, such as banning single-use plastics and becoming the fourth best recyclers in the country. This motion doesn’t just declare a climate emergency; it commits us to do something about it and use all instruments we can to fight for the future of everyone everywhere. We all need to work together to do this.” 

Climate change is happening now and to all of us. Every day brings a new example of climate-related devastation; no country or community is immune from it. It provides Three Rivers with an opportunity to consolidate and accelerate development gains through cleaner air, improved public health and greater security for nations and economies. 

We can already see growing momentum for transformational change.  A growing number of Governments, cities and businesses understand that climate solutions can strengthen our economies and protect our environment at the same time.  New technologies are already delivering energy at a lower cost than the fossil-fuel-driven economy. Solar and onshore wind is now the cheapest sources of new power in virtually all major economies. 

The motion was agreed, delighted Cllr Bedford said: “Thanks to all the group leaders. Global climate marches are sending a clear message. Young people are demanding that today’s leaders act on behalf of future generations. We must address this global emergency with ambition and urgency.”