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Urgent action needed on climate change

County Durham Greens are urging the County Council to accelerate its response to climate change following a devastating report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report paints a grim picture of the future if action isn’t taken now by governments to address the rise in greenhouse gas emissions which are warming the planet and which are pushing the world to the brink of irreversible damage.

Since the first Green Party councillor was elected to Durham County Council in 2021, the Council’s attitude to climate change has changed for the better. It has declared an Ecological Emergency and is far more responsive to taking action around road traffic, air pollution and housing.

County Durham Green Councillor Jonathan Elmer says that as a result of the IPCC Report he is going to urge the council to increase the pace of change towards creating a Net Zero Carbon county.

“The IPCC paints a grim picture of the future if action to tackle the climate emergency isn’t taken immediately”, he says. “The IPCC point to a small window of opportunity that governments still have to secure a liveable, sustainable future for all and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

“This report should be a loud alarm bell for the UK government, but it seems they’re just not listening. The Spring budget shows the Tories are asleep at the wheel when it comes to the climate crisis. Instead of investment in public transport and active travel, we got a fuel duty freeze; rather than meaningful investment in abundant and affordable renewables such as onshore and offshore wind, tidal and solar, we got the promise of expensive nuclear which will take over a decade to come on stream. And still no end in sight to the granting of licences for further fossil fuel exploitation or a carbon tax to make polluters pay for the damage they cause to our environment.

“The IPCC calls for action on climate change that also provides wider benefits. Greens have long argued that actions such as insulating homes, putting in place infrastructure to boost walking and cycling and a move towards a more plant based diet can all have positive impacts on health and address the cost of living crisis.

“I recognise that Durham is only a small part of the planet, but that does not mean we have to throw our hands up in the air and do nothing. If every council in the country did its bit to address our climate change challenge then we can make a difference. Inaction is not an option.”

Related post:

Council moves forward on Greens-inspired ecology emergency plans