Boston

Boston council to declare climate emergency targets

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Boston Borough Council is set to declare a climate emergency six months after delaying it for more work.

The authority put off the move in July after two motions were replaced with a vote to investigate the calls for action further. Newly-elected leader Aaron Spencer said at the time that the council needed more information.

A series of recommendations will go before scrutiny members on Tuesday before a final vote on January 20.

They include calls for the council to “lead by example and champion others to follow” – however, stop short of setting a 2030 target like other councils – instead opting to look at becoming net-zero carbon “in advance of the [2050] timetable declared by UK Parliament”.

A report by Climate Change task and finish group chairman Councillor Anne Dorrian states: “Reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint and becoming net-zero carbon is a substantial undertaking which will have profound implications for the council and its services.

“It will involve service redesign, procurement changes and the consideration of the environment practices of partners.

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

“It will affect all aspects of the council’s operation, fuel/energy use, buildings, supply chain and contractors.

“The council will need to commit to embracing relevant technologies and consider the impact on existing strategies and plans.”

She adds, however that councils are “well-placed to drive and influence action” and promotes benefits including lower energy bills, economic regeneration and creation of local jobs, reductions in fuel poverty and improved air quality.

The report authors also ask for the authority to develop a series of “quick wins” around its buildings and assets and plastics over the next two years.

The recommendations also recommend the council to incorporate climate change into its decisions, policies and strategies, provide financial support, promote positive work, and making a priority for scrutiny committees.

A number of councils up and down the country have declared a climate emergency – with North Kesteven District Council being the first in the county to do so. Others, such as Lincoln and South Kesteven councils have also started looking at how they can improve their carbon efficiencies.

Others have been more wary, with Lincolnshire County Council rejecting calls to commit the authority to being carbon neutral by 2030 but recognising the problem.


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