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Call for Barnet to declare climate emergency rejected UK News

A new call for Barnet’s council to declare a climate emergency was rejected by conservative advisers who said the borough was already pursuing green policies.

The move means Barnet is expected to remain one of only four London councils not to have declared a climate emergency – a formal recognition of the threat posed by climate change.

More than 200 councils across the UK – including many Conservative-led boroughs – and the UK Parliament are among the bodies to have made the declaration.

Barnet’s board failed to pass a motion to declare a climate emergency in July 2019, with Labor and Tories then blaming each other for the outcome.

READ MORE: Advisors fail to support climate target despite global warming fears

Union adviser Geof Cooke (Woodhouse) called on councilors to recommend that the full council declare a climate emergency during a briefing by a member at an environment committee meeting on Wednesday.

He said: “There is a growing urgency. Understandably, the focus has been on responding to the pandemic – but climate change has not gone away and the window of opportunity to act effectively is closing.

“We must act locally, and we must not wait for a change of administration next year to change the policy or a quiet review of a global strategy before acting.”

Cllr Cooke also proposed the establishment of a Climate Emergency Citizen Panel to support the development of action plans on climate change and sustainability.

But Cllr Peter Zinkin (Conservative, Childs Hill) said there was a “total disconnect between declaring a climate emergency and actually taking action on climate change” – although he acknowledged that climate change was a “very serious problem. serious”.

He added: “When you look at what the council is doing, there are many policies related to climate change, which will be brought together in the sustainable development policy that is being prepared.

“The decision to declare a climate emergency does nothing to improve the situation. ”

Councilor Alan Schneiderman (Labor, Woodhouse) supported his colleague’s motion. “It’s not about symbolism or spin,” he said. “Declaring a climate emergency is simply a demonstration of the urgency of the situation.”

But Cllr Elliot Simberg (Conservative, Hale) disagreed. “Declaring a climate emergency, being just words without substance, is a total waste of time,” he commented, adding that the council’s policies “already deal with the climate”.

In the vote, five Tory advisers voted against the call for a full council to declare the climate emergency, with all four Labor advisers in favor. Cllr Laithe Jajeh (Conservative, Hale) abstained.

The call for the creation of a climate emergency panel was also rejected by conservative members of the committee.

But all committee members backed a call to ask the constitution committee to consider including an environmental impact assessment of policies in council reports.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 11:00:24

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