Bristol Council declare a Climate Emergency
November 15, 2018 8:03 PM
By Peter Bruce
Bristol City 'Ups the Pace' on Climate Change action
After the great Liberal Democrat actions on renewables, housing and 'green' investment during the coalition, the Tory government has cancelled much of the good work and slowed the pace right up. We need new impetus/energy for action as reflected by the public energy in growing Climate Action and Extinction Rebellion initiatives.
Manchester is proposing a Zero Carbon city from 2038 and Bristol has now set a challenge with the 2030 zero carbon city target unanimously approved at Full Council meeting on 13th November. The Labour Mayor says this all has a cost and needs allparty/partner wide support to work as well as new central government powers. GLD would say that the up front cost of doing things right is small compared to the gains and saves having to do the job twice.
The Bristol City Council motion was strongly promoted by the LibDems with Anthony Negus, LibDem Group Leader who said that while it was an ambitious target, action needed to start now or "nothing would be achievable". He stressed the seriousness of the situation saying "Not even a world war is as serious as not having a planet to live in for people and all the other species that make up this fabulous planet".
Cllr Negus is a keen long time GLD member and was strong in pushing this demanding motion through with other LibDems.
This city policy action revitalises the way forward on Climate Change with London and Birmingham also targetting ZeroCarbon new homes by 2030 under the C40 global city initiative.
We LibDems now need to drive national government to support this work with the sustainability investment needed in transport, housing, sustainable farming and energy. This should perhaps be funded by carbon tax powers with increasing company and economist acceptance of the need for this to incentivise the right actions and fund them.
I believe that aspirational targets like 2030 are needed for several reasons. The latest IPCC report shows the world must be zero carbon by 2040 to have any chance of meeting 1.5 or 2degC rise and the developed western nations need to be ahead of this to provide the technology and products for the developing world to convert. We need an aspirational target to knock us out of the 'Business as Usual' mindset that we have got stuck in the last 40years that has just put off the changes needed. Lastly the Costs of the necessary changes will just rise greatly over time so lets get serious now.
Bristol Post article here