Unanimous councillor backing for climate emergency proposal and environment protest

There was a distinctly 'green' feel to the Thanet council meeting

A motion to declare a climate emergency and make Thanet council carbon neutral by 2030 received a unanimous backing at an authority meeting last night (July 11).

The motion was put by Labour councillor Rob Yates who asked that TDC: “Declare a climate emergency;  Pledge to do what is within TDC powers and resources to make Thanet District Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions;  Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible; Continue to work with partners across the county and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies;  Requests the council investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment.”

Rob Yates and Mike Garner

The motion was seconded by Green Party member Mike Garner.

Cllr Yates said the authority should look at a variety of green measures including 20mph zones, ensuring a TDC tree officer would work on a planting scheme, implementing green energy sources at council offices, making sure properties were insulated and increasing recycling.

He said: “According to the IPCC we are less than 12 years away from catastrophic climate change. In this time, we as a planet must achieve a reduction of our CO2 emissions by 50% or else a tipping point is reached and human intervention to prevent global warming becomes much, much more difficult.

“Nearly every single major national scientific body around the world unreservedly supports the works and findings of the IPCC so I hope that the science tonight is not up for debate.

“It is with this in mind that we propose to declare a climate emergency in the hope that we as Thanet District Council can play our part and aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.”

Cllr Garner said Thanet would feel the impact of climate change early due to rising sea levels. He added: “There are groups protecting green spaces and we should be working with, and planning with, them.

“We need to work with groups, neighbours, the community and businesses to reduce C02 emissions.”

Cllr Peter Campbell said Ramsgate Town Council has already voted to adopt a carbon neutral policy while Cllr Aram Rawf suggested making sure all residents had access to facilities such as composting.

Cllr Karen Constantine expressed regret that Kent County Council has pushed its carbon neutral pledge back to 2050 saying action was needed to hit the 2030 target.

Council leader Bob Bayford commented on the “amazing support” and said that a report on the carbon neutral target would be compiled and brought back to council in February.

Following the meeting Cllr Yates said: “I have worked in the wind industry for 10 years, which brought me to Thanet. The UK is the world leader in offshore wind and the industry is quickly taking over from the old oil and gas sector in the north sea.

“It is right that Thanet play their part and declare a climate emergency and take actions now for the benefit of our children and grandchildren”.

The motion coincided with a lively protest outside the council offices by the Thanet Trees group and Extinction Rebellion.

Drumming, singing and a hurdy gurdy added to the ‘festival’ feel of the demonstration which received numerous toots from passing vehicles.

The aim of the Trèes protest  was to demand a full biodiversity strategy and accountability for all actions by the council open spaces team and any contractors involved in hedge cutting past, present and future. Extinction Rebellion is a climate change pressure group.

During the meeting it was confirmed TDC is recruiting an aboricultural specialist, carrying out ecological risk assessments for a variety of parks and open spaces works and has bought, as a trial at this stage, an infrared imaging wildlife camera.

25 Comments

  1. More hot air and wind emissions from Local Politicians,maybe Mr Wind Turbine can give us the REAL cost of wind energy, footprint,life time, decommissioning the whole 40 yards.

      • Read it, so what about construction maintenance decommissioning etc and the subsidy been used to lower the cost per Megawatt.

        • You do realise that fossil fuels are more heavily subsidised than pretty much anything – and I mean absolutely anything – else on the face of the planet, don’t you? Renewables – wind and solar – are now much cheaper by comparison and receive a small fraction of the subsidies that go to fossil fuels. I can help you find the evidence if you wanted to do some research…

          • Who subsidises fossil fuels?? I suggest you do your homework about Wind and Solar, and i mean the whole 40 yards, construction,maintenance, decommissioning, efficiency, life.

  2. Oh and in the meantime, google $50 tax yes $50 tax on a gallon of Fuel, petrol or Diesel, as proposed by the UN climate change panel, go on j dard you!!

      • Are you actually aware of what powers the real world, and your fantasy wind and solar utopia! Do you know how they are made, what cost in material etc to maintain them?? I thought not, because if you did youd fhjnk about youd posts, and yes i do!!

        • I don’t think you should assume what other people know or don’t know. And I don’t see why you are being so rude to people who don’t have the same viewpoint as you.

  3. The real cost of not cutting carbon emissions to 0 as quickly as we can, if not sooner, will be catastrophic change to the climate leading to social unrest of an order never seen before.

  4. You wanna start with the licensing of private hire vehicles, council policy would rather have euro 4 diesel driving around polluting the atmosphere than eleçtric vehicles due to their bizzare licensing conditions

    • We cannot save “the planet” it is life on earth that is allways at risk, wether by natrual events or manmade. The Dinosaurs went because!!!! Well it wasn’t petrol. The Eastern seeboard of the USA is at risk of total destruction fron a fault in the Balearic Islands, enormous meteor craters are testament to violent impact fron space, it was warmer in Roman times, Thanet was an Island, old Winchelsea, was taken by the sea, and a new one was built, Rye was a sea port, the river Rother, changed course due to an enormous storm centuries ago, Dungeness, didnt exist, Ash was under the sea the River Wantsum was a seaway, in other words change happens, and political hot air won’t stop it.

      • Why be so negative? Clearly, it’s better to make all the beneficial changes we can, individually, than it is to do nothing.

        • The negativity comes from the political left and the “Green” brigade, “Dont Panic Mr Mainwaring” should be their motto! But killing the Goose that laid the golden egg for the human race is not the answer, nor is turning what should be rational debate about human habbits into an unquestionable religeon,, where those who don’t subscribe are heretics! And the answer to our excessive consumption of material and energy was actually put to the test a little while ago, it was called AUSTERITY, remember!! Didn’t go down to well with the Left again or the Greens! Who want their cake and eat it! You want to “POLLUTE LESS USE LESS” That is the answer, we as a race have to accept their is no free lunch, there is a cost involved.

          • You are very wrong. The Green party and Labour are not being negative. The Tory policy of austerity is not the same as the environmentally sound policy of reducing the use of irreplaceable raw materials- some of which, of course, cause pollution both in their extraction and their use.

          • You mean digging out toxic metals on a vast scale to pacify the GREENS.and as for Labour, you should watch “St Trinians Great Train Robbery” Film, nothing change!! and as for the Hypocrit Greens, I would like them do a few sums, re carbon bootprints.

  5. Great from TDC but I am confused isn’t TDC behind having a dirty polluting cargo hub at manston. So any good work done by TDC will be undone by the cargo hub ?

  6. How can you have a green Thanet with Manston Airport on the cards to be operatively open again? And how green will it be when people on the beach start using it as a toilet because the public toilets are still closed, and too expensive to repair? Why spend money tarting up the council offices, when public toilets both for the beach as well as in town, are desperately needed?

    • Airports are much more eco friendly than large housing developments, wild life, plants, trees thrive in an essentially protected areas with little human contact.

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