St Helens Council urged to take action on climate change

Green councillorDavid OKeefe
Green councillorDavid OKeefe

St Helens Council will be called upon to declare a climate emergency next week.

Motions have been tabled by Labour and Green Party councillors for consideration at next week’s full council meeting, which calling for various actions around tackling climate change.

If the motions are passed, St Helens Council will join local authorities across the country to declare a climate emergency.

Green councillor David O’Keefe said humans have caused “irreversible climate change”, adding that current climate measures have not gone far enough.

Coun O’Keefe will call on the council to pledge to make St Helens carbon neutral by 2030.

The Bold councillor said it is important for the residents of St Helens and the UK, that towns and cities commit to carbon neutrality “as quickly as possible”.

Coun O’Keefe said the consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so “severe” that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s “number one priority”.

“Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world,” Coun O’Keefe said.

“Global temperatures have already increased by 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.

“Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm).

“This far exceeds the 350ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.”

In a separate motion, Labour’s Mancyia Uddin said that with “ambitious action”, it may be possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Coun Uddin will urge the council to commit to achieving 100 per cent clean energy across its full range of functions by 2040.

The motion will also call on the council to commit to be zero-carbon by 2040, and to ensure all decisions, budgets, and approaches to planning decisions are in line with achieving this target.

This will bring St Helens in line with the ambitions of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which declared a climate emergency earlier this year.

Coun Uddin’s motion will also call on the government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible.

The government’s own target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.

MPs have already declared a climate emergency for the UK after passing a motion Parliament in May, although this does not legally compel the government to act.

The Welsh and Scottish governments have also declared a climate emergency.