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Wiltshire Council is falling behind on its climate emergency commitments

February 24, 2021 11:21 AM
By Ellen Nicholson

It's good to see that Wiltshire Times highlighting the recent Wiltshire Climate Alliance report. WILTSHIRE Council is falling behind on its climate emergency commitments.

Conservative led Wiltshire Council is falling behind on it's climate emergency commitments and the reports makes five "key recommendations" on how it can "accelerate delivery".

The report, produced by the Wiltshire Climate Alliance (WCA), marks the second anniversary of the council passing the Wiltshire Liberal Democrat motion to declare a climate emergency.

Unsurprisingly, in response, the Conservative led council says it welcomes the report, but says "it fails to recognise much of the progress we have made", notable too is the spate of social media advertising the Conservative councillors of have been posting attempting to claim climate credentials.

Last week the United Nations pulled no punches when it declared that humans are making Earth a broken and increasingly unliveable planet through climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The world MUST make dramatic changes to society, economics and daily life, the report said.

Unlike past U.N. reports that focused on one issue and avoided telling leaders actions to take, Thursday's report combines three intertwined environment crises and tells the world what has got to change. It called for:

  1. changing what governments tax
  2. how nations value economic output
  3. how power is generated,
  4. the way people get around,
  5. fish and farm, as well as what they eat.

Without nature's help, we will not thrive or even survive," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. "For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature. The result is three interlinked environmental crises." Thus the 168-page report title is blunt: "Making Peace with Nature." Making Peace with Nature | UNEP - UN Environment Programme

So why does this matter?

Well it is a big year for the climate agenda, the UK Government hosts COP26 in Glasgow this Autumn, and they themselves may wish to re-examine the environmental impact of the planning decision for the new coking coal Cumbrian mine. Hosting the climate summit whilst permitting the first deep mine in 30 years is hardly showing excellent climate change credentials.

Closer to home in Wiltshire, the ongoing debate around NREL plans for an incinerator in Westbury, will test Wiltshire councils resolve to climate change. The environment agency consultation on the plan closed on 21st February and many local residents and businesses including voices across the political spectrum have submitted objections on the planning application and to the environment agency. Wiltshire Council will now await their findings and report.

Going back to the WCA report they say that while Wiltshire council has made some progress on its own greenhouse gas emissions, it is not acting with the "urgency required to deliver meaningful reductions" by 2030. The report concludes urgent action now is critical if the planet is to avoid dangerous climate change".

Wiltshire Council 'falling behind on climate commitments' | Wiltshire Times Rural Wiltshire ()