Carbon neutral by 2030 should be goal

Graham Wroe

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 5:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 6:02 am
Sheffield should go Carbon Neutral by 2030

Glencoe Road, Sheffield, S2

At the full council meeting I presented a petition of more than 400 names, collected in less than a week, calling on Sheffield to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Climate change is now an emergency. The 2018 State of the Climate report says that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with 2015-2018 making up the top four.

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The UN told us last year that we only have 12 years to reduce our carbon emissions or the planet will heat beyond 1.5 C.

By that time my three-year-old granddaughter will still not be able to vote, but the future of the planet may have been determined as uninhabitable.

As the world gets hotter feedback loops kick in, which are predicted to lead to ever increasing temperatures, the “hothouse earth” scenario.

Massive forest fires have been spreading in Tasmania and in California. Drought has increased, making fires more likely. The burning forests release a massive store of carbon into the atmosphere, further adding to the greenhouse effect. The destroyed forest no longer soaks up the CO2, so even more CO2 warms the atmosphere.

In the Arctic the ice reflects the sun’s rays. But warming has been melting the ice revealing the dark water.

This absorbs the energy from the sunlight, warming the water and speeding ice melt.

This is an emergency. We need rapid action to reduce our emissions.

The Labour motion failed to set targets for urgent action. It is no use saying, “Our house is on fire, this is an emergency” but then saying, “Let’s ask a committee to report back in six months to see if we should call the fire brigade”.

It is an emergency, so the council should have acted like it is an emergency and called the fire brigade.