Stirling councillors voted unanimously on Thursday for the eagerly anticipated motion on a climate emergency.
The motion was passed at the council headquarters in Stirling at a full public meeting.
After world-wide protests on the September 20 youth climate strike, council members were under increased pressure from the local community to declare a climate emergency. Due to a public attendance in the council chamber itself, the motion was pushed forward to the start of the meeting as a matter of urgency.
Councillor Neil Benny (Conservative) stressed the importance of the motion as a “standing order”, meaning the climate emergency would be brought up at every council meeting as a permanent influence on policies.
SNP councillor Jim Thomson said “if you want this to happen you have to work with us” as he described the possibilities of less cars on the road or bins being collected less often. This suggests the efforts to combat climate change will have a noticeable impact on our community’s daily lives.
Little was discussed of specific actions and targets that could be undertaken in order to achieve a carbon neutral constituency. An amendment which was proposed by Councillor Alasdair Tollemache (Green) suggested suspending preparations for the Viewforth link road until senior managers were able to determine its effect on Co2 emissions.
However, this was rejected by the majority of the council ensuring there will be no further delays on the new road. Aside from this, the content of the meeting was vague in its unified declaration of support whilst praising how far Stirling has already come as a green city.
For now, the motion promises to continue ‘driving forward’ with current initiatives such as the The Solar Canopies Green Energy Hub at Castleview Park which includes a state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging hub. More details and deadlines will be made clear when Senior Managers of the Council return with a plan of action for sustainable progress in February 2020.
The majority of local councils across the UK have similarly declared a climate emergency with the exception of London’s Borough of Havering who voted against doing so.