Climate Emergency and Liverpool City Region.

12 April 2019

This is the text of the motion

The Combined Authority notes:

1.    Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm); this far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

2.    In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; (1)

3.    Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

4.    Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

5.    As a coastal city region, Liverpool City Region stands to feel significant impact of Climate Breakdown, for example through rising sea levels and extreme weather events;

6.    The devastating loss of biodiversity seen in recent years and the impact that has on human well-being; (2)

7. Liverpool City Region has taken some steps towards addressing the issue of Climate Breakdown: the introduction of 20mph zones, creation of an air quality action plan, embracing the status of Year of Environment, among others but much greater measures are required;

8.    Current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050; (3, 4))

9.    The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in the autumn of 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and concludes that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and subnational authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities (4) ;

10. City Councils in the UK and around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency. (5)

The Combined Authority believes that:

1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of the City Region, and the UK that local authorities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

2. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,

3. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved well-being for people worldwide.

The COmbined Authority therefore resolves to:

1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

2. Continue to review and revise its action plans to ensure its zero carbon targets are met, recognising that carbon reduction is more important than carbon offsetting.

3. Strengthen local protection and enhancement of species, habitats and ecosystems services under its available powers;

4. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the zero carbon target possible;

5. Work with other governments (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;

6. Continue to work with partners across the region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans.

Additionally this Combined Authority calls on the Mayor to write to all the council leaders of the Liverpool City Region, urging them to recognise the climate emergency and take a lead, both in their own operations and in working with this Combined Authority, to move as rapidly as possible to carbon neutrality.

References:

1.    Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2andGHG19702016&dst=GHGpc

2.    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/climate-and-economic-risks-threaten-2008-style-systemic-collapse/ar-BBTtokA?ocid=spartandhp

3.    World Resources Institute: https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/10/8-things-youneed-know-about-ipcc-15-c-report

4.    The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/

5.    Including US cities Berkeley: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blog/2018/6/13/berkeleyunanimously-declares-climate-emergency and Hoboken: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blog/2018/4/25/hoboken resolves-to-mobilize, and the C40 cities https://www.c40.org/other/deadline2020

Election imprint: promoted by D Teasdale on behalf of Liverpool Green Party and its candidates.

 






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