First Norfolk council set to declare a Climate Emergency

Climate change protesters in Norwich.  PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Climate change protesters in Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The first local council to declare a Climate Emergency is set to be North Norfolk.

Demonstrators across the region chose to make their point in novel ways. Picture: Neil PerryDemonstrators across the region chose to make their point in novel ways. Picture: Neil Perry

The leaders of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) will put a motion to the next Full Council meeting.

It comes less than a month after the council refused to declare a Climate Emergency after being urged to by two members of the public at a Full Council meeting. Council leader, Liberal Democrat Sarah Butikofer said, then, that it was not her place to do so.

But the council has since met climate change protestors and changed its mind.

Mrs Butikofer said: “It is now clear that the world has less than 12 years to switch away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer. Picture: NNDCNNDC leader Sarah Butikofer. Picture: NNDC

“Liberal Democrat councillors feel that for the sake of future generations, action must be taken now.

“Central government is failing to act fast enough on reducing carbon emissions so it must fall upon local government to take the lead.”

The council plans to become a zero-carbon district and set goals to this effect.

Mrs Butikofer added: “As a coastal district, North Norfolk is in the front line of the impacts of climate change whilst our fishing industry depends on sustaining stocks in our marine environment.

“Time is running out and we need to be bold and brave.”

Nigel Lloyd, Lib Dem group portfolio member for the environment, said: “We are delighted to declare our intention to be the first local council in Norfolk to declare a climate emergency.

“We will take the lead to minimise the environmental impact of our activities and bench-mark our activities.

“This will not be an easy task, but I believe that the environmental benefits of reducing carbon emissions and putting resource management at the centre of all we do is essential in halting the rise in global temperatures that we are now experiencing.”

It comes after students in Norfolk twice came together to protest against the government’s approach to climate change.

A recent IPCC report warned that humanity has only 12 years to take emergency action in order to prevent global warming rising above 1.5°C.

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