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Dawlish Town Council declares a Climate Emergency

On 5 June 2019, Dawlish Town Council declared a climate emergency, as follows:

Council Notes:

1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

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 CO² eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible.

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. Our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit before 2050.

6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degree 6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 s Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.

7. Local Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

This Council 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 Teignbridge Council and other Councils to commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

2. Towns, Cities and Local Authorities at all tiers are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions; they are well placed to help decarbonise villages and more remote areas as they have closer links with their residents.

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

Resolved that Dawlish Town Council:

(a) Declares a ‘climate emergency’;

(b) Pledges to do what is within its powers, to make Dawlish and District carbon neutral by 2025, considering both production and consumption emissions. Work with Teignbridge District Council and other local councils to achieve this goal;

(c) will call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary for Dawlish and District to achieve the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, and to implement best practice methods to limit global warming to 1.5C;

(d) will create an Action plan to address the Climate Emergency in line with the TDC and DCC commitment to reduce carbon emissions / become carbon neutral by 2025. To do this we will create a working group. The working group will report back to full council within three months with a local action plan. Once approved, this plan would then be implemented and fed back into TDC and DCC climate emergency plans; and

(e) Will investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment; and

(f) Declares an Environmental and Wildlife Serious Concerns declaration. Members were in agreement that Councillor Heath should Chair the Working Group.