CEREDIGION County Council will work on a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030 but it stopped short of declaring a climate crisis.
At Thursday’s (Jun 20) full council meeting members were due to vote on a motion put by Cllr Mark Strong calling on the authority to “declare that there is a climate crisis in our county.”
Cllr Strong said this highlights the “considerable steps” taken to reduce carbon and waste within the authority while also placing further reductions at the “heart” of future plans.
He added an amendment on the day of the meeting that the council commits to reviewing its capital investments with a view to making carbon reductions.
A further amendment was added by Cllr Alun Williams, cabinet member for adult services and sustainability champion, that the council “commit to making Ceredigion a net zero carbon local authority by 2030 and developing a clear plan for a route towards this within 12 months.”
This amendment was approved meaning that Cllr Strong’s motion was not voted on.
This caused some argument with both Cllr Strong and council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn questioning the interpretation of the constitution.
Cllr Strong said he would submit his motion again for a vote to be taken on declaring a climate crisis.
Cllr Dafydd Edwards voted against the amendment after questioning the figures given by scientists about how much the sea will rise and temperatures increase.
He said that people used to wear sandwich boards saying “the end is nigh” and because it is now on the internet people think it’s even more true.
“I agree that we need to do what we cant to reduce emissions, as we have done, but where it’s economically viable and sensible to do so,” added Cllr Edwards.
Ceredigion’s cabinet approved its latest Carbon Management Plan earlier this month, with a target of 15 percent reduction in emissions by 2023.
It includes a five-year plan with projects to reduce the amount of carbon used such as making buildings more efficient, increasing the use of photo-voltaic solar panels and investing in a new more energy efficient fleet of council vehicles.
A number of councillors backed Cllr Strong’s motion, as well as the amendment, including Cllrs Elizabeth Evans and Paul Hinge who highlighted the importance of making changes for future generations.
The council has reduced its carbon emissions by 45 percent since 2007, equating to more than 7,000 tons of CO2, and has invested £2.1milion in renewable energy and energy saving initiatives in the last five years.
Cllr Williams has previously highlighted that this has saved £4.2million.