Lincolnshire

Local Democracy Weekly: Breaking the mould on climate change

It took some time, but a Lincolnshire council finally broke the mould and declared a climate emergency.

North Kesteven District Council unanimously approved the declaration and went one step further and supported developing a new policy and strategy on the environment.

Often climate emergency motions are passed and pay lip service to the issue.

But councillors in North Kesteven all seemed to be on the the same page.


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In fact, council leader, Richard Wright, while supporting the motion to declare an emergency said the pledge did not “go far enough” and added amendments to look at the council’s policies.

It was a far cry from the Lincolnshire County Council meeting in May where there was a reluctance to make a declaration.

North Kesteven District Council offices in Sleaford.

The sticking point seemed to be in the authority making a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The authority did “recognise” that there is a climate problem, but that did not go down well with campaigners who wanted a firm declaration.

But, much of the criticism of such motions is that they do not require the authority to do anything.

The declaration made by Parliament in May did not legally tie the government to any action on climate change.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners outside Lincolnshire County Council offices ahead of a climate emergency motion which was rejected. Picture: Calvin Robinson.

But, it’s the recognition that matters to campaigners and it gives them something to hold the authority to account for.

Hence the demonstration in Lincoln last weekend and Extinction Rebellion campaigners persistence in reminding the county council of its decision.

As I said in last week’s column, climate change campaigners do not forget.

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