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Council refuses to declare 'climate emergency'

North Norfolk District Council has opted not to declare a climate emergency. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire

North Norfolk District Council has opted not to declare a climate emergency. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire

PA Archive/PA Photos

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has refused to declare a climate emergency after being urged to by two members of the public.

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said it was not the council's place to declare a climate emergency. Picture: Liberal Democrats.Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said it was not the council's place to declare a climate emergency. Picture: Liberal Democrats.

Janice Single and Nick Bradley called on the authority to make a declaration at Wednesday’s full council meeting, but council leader Sarah Butikofer said it was not her place to do so.

Ms Single said at the meeting: “I’m really worried, angry sometimes and I’m scared for the future. We’ve just experienced another ridiculously warm day. This should be a wake-up call for us all.

“The climate is changing rapidly allowing no time to adjust. We are the first generation to know just how much damage our race has inflicted on the planet but governments are reluctant to act.”

Ms Single said the council should strive to reduce its climate footprint and “be so bold and give climate change the urgency it deserves.”

Mr Bradley said: “We have maybe 12 years to avert catastrophe”, and listed dozens of councils who had already declared a climate emergency including Cambridge City, Cornwall, Nottingham and Shropshire.

But NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer said the council would not follow suit, although it was taking steps to become more environmentally friendly.

Mrs Butikofer said: “We strongly believe that protecting the environment is a priority.

“It’s crucial to us that we take the best advice possible to inform on policies. We don’t, however, feel it’s the place of NNDC to declare a climate emergency.

“We are here to provide specific services to our constituents and that should be our priority.”

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