“A Climate Emergency in Kirklees”

Kirklees Council passed a motion “A Climate Emergency in Kirklees” at its meeting on 16th January 2019. The motion’s first resolution is to

“Declare a Climate Emergency and publicise this to the people of Kirklees to raise awareness, and support the public to take effective action.”

The minutes of the meeting are at


(Item 20 on page 11 of a 13-page document). The full text of the motion follows:

Motion Submitted in Accordance with Council Procedure Role
14 as to A Climate Emergency in Kirklees
To consider the following Motion in the names of Councillors R Murgatroyd, S
Pandor, D Sheard, N Mather, P McBride, M Sokhal, J Lawson, A Cooper and C
“This Council notes;
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s warning that
we have 12 years to make the necessary changes to limit a rise in global
temperatures to 1.5c. Failure to act will see a marked increase in sea levels and
flooding, extreme and abrupt changes to weather patterns, crop failures,
extinctions of plant, insect and animal species and global economic disruption
and crisis. This will detrimentally impact on the well-being of the people of
Kirklees and billions of people around the world.

At the Global Climate Talks in Poland last December the UK along with over 200 nations agreed action on Climate Change with a much greater role strongly
implied for Local and Regional Authorities like Kirklees in assisting
Governments achieve their carbon emission savings.

In the words of Sir David Attenborough:
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest
threat in thousands of years. Climate change. If we don’t take action, the
collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on
the horizon. The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is
running out.’

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency and publicise this to the people of Kirklees
    to raise awareness, and support the public to take effective action.
  2. Request Cabinet initiate a full Environmental Audit of Kirklees Council to measure its carbon footprint, identify hotspots and work toward being carbon neutral in line with the latest targets set and agreed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; with
  3. Cabinet to report to the first meeting of the working party, referred to
  4. at 4 below on the scope of the environmental audit
  5. Significantly improve our recycling rate to reach the target of 55% by
    2025, and ask that the Cabinet implement a range of short term
    measures to improve recycling rates, in advance of a full review of the
    waste collection and disposal service.
  6. To set up a Councillor Working Party including the appropriate Cabinet
    Lead with a remit to:
    a) Commission and oversee the Environmental Audit
    b) Consult expert opinion in the field, as appropriate
    c) Identify practical measures to reduce emissions and the Council’s
    carbon footprint
    d) encourage action in the wider community, businesses and other
    key organisations e.g. NHS and Educational Institutions
    e) Report to Full Council within six months with an action plan to
    address the Emergency and incorporating proposals on the
    investment implications of this proposed activity
  7. The Council to consider Environmental Impact as part of any new policy
  8. The Council to seek to collaborate with other Local and Regional
    Authorities on emission reduction projects as appropriate. The Leader
  9. of the Council to write to the Minister of State for Climate Change and
  10. Industry requesting that national policy is urgently developed to reflect
  11. the seriousness of the current emergency and to release funds to
  12. local authorities that would allow them to take the necessary
  13. measures at local level.”