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Peterborough set to declare climate emergency

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Peterborough is set to call a climate emergency and urgently propose measures to reduce its carbon emissions.

City councillors are expected to back a motion at this month’s Full Council meeting which will call for the city to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Extinction Rebellion protesting outside of Peterborough

The wide-ranging motion, which has cross-party support, calls on the council to make its functions net-zero carbon before branching out to cover the whole city

This will include setting up a Climate Change Partnership group – involving councillors, residents, young people, climate science experts and businesses – and a Citizen’s Assembly with members of the public,who will consider the latest climate science and expert advice. If the motion is approved on July 24 it will compel the council to come up with an action plan over the following 12 months.

Green Party councillor Nicola Day said: “It is a crisis, it is an emergency. We have years not decades to sort this out. We need to reduce the amount of traffic going into the city centre. We need sustainable, low cost transport. Aberdeen, for examples, has a hydrogen fleet of buses.”

Peterborough currently holds the aspiration to be the UK’s Environment Capital. Council leader Cllr John Holdich said the authority had already taken action by installing solar panels and modernising schools, and that he wanted to get the public on board with future plans.

Peterborough youngsters campaigning on climate change

He added: “We have ambitions to have a city and country fit for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”

Environmental groups Extinction Rebellion Peterborough and Peterborough in Transition have been lobbying councillors to take action.

Extinction Rebellion said: “We welcome the news and hope that the motion makes meaningful commitments that move Peterborough towards zero carbon. We call on the council to look beyond politics by creating, and being led by, the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.”

Peterborough in Transition said: “We look forward to the declaration of a climate emergency. We need our representatives to act now, with passion and determination, before it is too late.”

Dozens of councils have already declared climate emergencies, including the London Assembly and Cambridge City Council.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year said warming of 1.5C would see “devastating consequences” such as extreme weather and 2C would be “extremely catastrophic”. It said the planet is heading for 3-4C warming.

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