Devon County Council supports young people’s climate change concerns
Kindly contributed by Devon County Council
Devon County Council (DCC) fully welcomes and supports the aims of young people across the UK who are protesting about climate change today (Friday 15 February).
Their aims and objectives are consistent with those of DCC whose cabinet has recommended that the authority declare a ‘climate emergency’ at Full Council on February 21.
The cabinet also recommends that DCC adopts a key recommendation of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – for Devon to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest.
It is already DCC policy to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, exceeding the IPCC’s target by five per cent. Since 2012/2013 DCC’s emissions have reduced by 36%, on track to meet the IPCC’s target.
Both measures, say the IPCC, are essential to arrest the increase in global temperatures.
Last year the IPCC’s 15th Special Report warned of the devastation a 2°C rise in global temperatures would cause.
A 2°C rise in global temperatures, it said, would put up to 30% of all species at risk of extinction.
But by reducing emissions and thereby limiting warming to 1.5°C, 50% fewer species would be at risk of significant habitat loss, 10 million fewer people would lose their homes due to sea level rises and 420 million fewer people would be exposed to extreme heatwaves.
Now DCC is working with strategic partners across the county to ensure that the whole county – and not just the authority – is on the right course to meet IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.
Partners include Natural Devon (the Local Nature Partnership), the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, the Exeter and East Devon Low Carbon Task Force and the Devon Community Energy Network.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said:
“There is no doubt there is a climate emergency and unless something is done, climate change will affect people, the environment, business and our prosperity.
“We fully support the objectives of young people to reduce carbon emissions and DCC has been working hard for many years to ensure that we are on course to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.
“We are working with strategic partners to develop a plan to ensure that Devon meets the internationally recognised target of carbon neutrality by 2050.
“If we are to stem the increase in global temperatures everyone of all ages and all walks of life has to work together.”