Labour councillors have brought their carbon neutral targets forward and declared a ‘climate emergency’ after new research warned of the catastrophic consequences of global warming.
It is now the largest city in the UK to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Updated plans for how they will tackle the crisis will be discussed as a motion at a full council meeting next week.
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development, said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of the human race relies on us taking bold action on climate change, so I am delighted that Sheffield is boldly leading the way here. It is absolutely right that we declare an urgent climate emergency and put pressure on the government and other cities to recognise the dire situation we are facing.
“Global warming is one of the most serious issues of the 21st century. We are facing a climate catastrophe if we don’t act. But as the IPCC report makes crystal clear – the time to act is still now. We are not too late – yet. I don’t want people to feel a hopeless inevitability about climate change. We all have the power to do our bit to reduce Sheffield’s carbon emissions.
“But we are proposing far more than just calling on others to act. Labour want to ensure that as a council and as a whole city we are doing everything we can to limit reduce carbon emissions and limit manmade climate change.”
The council already has plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 but they are now working with partners and opposition councillors to bring it forward by years, if not decades.
It comes after a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which showed we have only 12 years to limit climate change.
Declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is a growing trend across the world, with more cities making this announcement.
Jenny Carpenter, co-chair of Sheffield Climate Alliance, said: “We are delighted the council has listened to us and is now looking to take the bold step of announcing a climate emergency. We can all be proud that Sheffield is now the largest council to move forward in this way. We urge all councillors to vote in favour of this important declaration and send a clear signal about the importance of tackling climate change.
“It’s positive that the council is also aiming to bring forward the target date for becoming a carbon neutral city. Sheffield Climate Alliance is keen to work with the council on this to make sure we have a more ambitious target and then develop a really good action plan to ensure we achieve it.”
The motion will be discussed at a full council meeting next Wednesday from 2pm.