South Shropshire council declares climate emergency
A south Shropshire council has declared a climate emergency.
Following in the footsteps of other councils across Shropshire including Shrewsbury, Clun and Ludlow, the Bishop's Castle Town Council declared a climate emergency at a meeting this week after a public led campaign.
Steve Hale, Bishop's Castle resident and member of the town's Extinction Rebellion group, first addressed the council at a previous meeting in August to ask them to deliberate on the issue.
In his address to the council on Tuesday, Mr Hale said that climate breakdown is happening and action is needed now.
"Not only is it happening right now but it is doing so at a pace far in excess of the worst-case scenarios postulated just a few years ago," he said.
"The evening news on September 11 reported that the Greenland Ice Shelf is melting at four times the predicted rate. We are close to the point of no return.
"We all know what this will mean, unless we can turn this around, starting now.
"The 2008 Climate Change Act is a powerful framework for reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions and can be used by local councils.
"You need to declare a Climate Emergency and then, rather than try and tackle everything, the government’s Committee On Climate Change suggests that you concentrate your efforts in areas where you have significant influence."
Mr Hale encouraged the council to consider his advice as a starting point and he also stressed his concerns around farming and food in the future.
He said: "I feel significant work should be done to build local food, land and biodiversity resilience to protect us in the event of any future worldwide food shortages and, in the short-term, any potentially dramatic effects on land prices and local farming losses in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
"I feel, in fact I know, that there is a really strong wish amongst Bishop's Castle people to get involved in tackling this emergency."
Around 15 residents attended the meeting to hear the council's verdict as they ruled by a large majority to declare a climate emergency.
Mayor Julie Magill said the council will now look to move forward with the strategies suggested.