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To: Highland Council

Declare a Climate Emergency

We won! The council caved in to pressure and the effort of so many people including about 900 in total who signed the petition both on and off line, to all our activists who braved the cold outside Highland Council buildings and particularly the hard work of Cllr Pippa Hadley submitting the amendment (seconded by Cllr Andrew Baxter) and declared a climate and ecological emergency and agreed to work towards a carbon neutral highlands by 2025. You can see the text agreed here:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156397986577901&set=a.10150395819242901&type=3&theater

Well done everyone. Now to get to work to help them achieve this!

Declare a Climate Emergency

We sign to ask that
1. The Highland Council tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with residents.
2. The Highland Council pass a Climate Emergency motion to make the Highlands carbon neutral by 2025, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.
3. Support a national and local Citizen’s Assembly as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Why is this important?

FULL TEXT OF MOTION - DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY

1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change and ecological devastation. The impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity and all the other species that we co-exist with and depend on;
2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway global warming and limit the effects of climate breakdown, and ecocide, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to 1 tonne as soon as possible, and live within the resource means of our planet;
3. Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon and sustainable living easier and the new norm.
4. Carbon emissions arise from both production and consumption of resources.
5. The Highland Council has already shown foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of climate change, through the development of the Carbon CLEVER initiative as well as by setting bold emissions reductions targets through its carbon management plan.
6. Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2030.
7. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.
8. Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.
The Highland Council believes that:
1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate breakdown and the unsustainable abuse of our ecosystems, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents and businesses of Highland and the UK that cities and regions commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.
2. Cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit. Inverness should aspire to be an exemplar in this respect, but the rural areas of the Highlands can also lead the way, building on work many communities have already undertaken;
3. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,
4. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).
The Highland Council resolves to:
1. Declare a ‘Climate & Ecological Emergency’;
2. Re-commit to make the Highlands carbon neutral by 2025, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3);
3. Call on the Scottish Government to provide the powers and resources to make the 2025 target possible;
4. Work with other Councils to determine and implement best practice methods to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C and to consume global resources at a rate that can be sustained ;
5. Continue to work with partners across the city and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
6. Report to Full Council within six months with the actions the Council will take to address this emergency.

How it will be delivered

To Highland Council's next full Council meeting on 9th May

Highlands and Islands

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • For the futurw

Updates

2019-05-10 13:48:56 +0100

Petition is successful with 368 signatures

2019-05-09 18:21:15 +0100

We won! The council caved in to pressure and the effort of so many people particularly Cllr Pippa Hadley and declared a climate and ecological emergency and agreed to work towards a carbon neutral highlands by 2025. Well done everyone. Now to get to work to help them achieve this. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156397986577901&set=a.10150395819242901&type=3&theater

2019-05-08 07:51:04 +0100

Please also sign this petition to get Highland Council to divest from fossil fuels. This is one of the things we have been talking to them about and they can't get to carbon neutral without it. https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-highlands-from-fossil-fuels.

2019-05-08 07:42:05 +0100

The Highland Council is debating a climate change motion tomorrow. Unfortunately it's not the one we wanted. They've taken out a mention of 'Climate and ecological emergency' and a target of carbon neutral by 2025, though they are willing to work with us on a citizens assembly. (There is already something similar in existence which could be used). We've asked Pippa Hadley, Green Councillor to submit amendments to put these back in again. There will be a protest outside Highland Council Council chamber at Glenurquhart Rd tomorrow (9th May) starting at 8.30 am as the Councillors arrive. The aim is to talk to them as they go in. Members of the public are also allowed to sit in on the debate but be prepared for quite a wait if you want to do this. https://www.facebook.com/events/371448986800139/

2019-03-11 20:29:12 +0000

100 signatures reached

2019-03-09 19:11:48 +0000

50 signatures reached

2019-03-08 14:46:50 +0000

25 signatures reached

2019-03-07 22:53:29 +0000

10 signatures reached