Climate Change in Shropshire

Global warming

Climate change is the greatest issue of our time. It is a global crisis demanding a global response, but also a local one. We must all, individually and collectively, actively work towards ensuring that this planet continues to enjoy an environment hospitable to human life.

Climate change might seem remote in time and scale, but even in rural Shropshire we will experience the effects of global warming. Direct effects include increased rainfall and increased frequency and severity of storms and flooding events. We could experience hotter, drier summers, increasing the risk of water shortages and putting more pressure on healthcare services. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to increased heat stress.

This page is mostly concerned with the work we're doing locally in Shropshire rather than at national or international level.

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Further reading

Jenny Jones calls for a Climate Emergency

Shropshire Council - Climate Change motion

The following is the full text of the motion approved by Shropshire Council in December 2018:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recently made clear the scale of the emergency facing us all. It is clear that current action to reduce emissions is inadequate both globally and in the UK, and if unchecked will result in a catastrophic 3 degrees of global warming.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

The UK Government is yet to put forward plans for partnerships with local councils to achieve the Paris climate goals, although emissions reduction efforts at the local level could help the UK government achieve and exceed its existing National Determined Contribution.

In the interim before Central Government comes forward with proposals for Local Government based on the Paris Agreement this Council resolves to:

  1. Ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural affairs to ask when Central Government expects to issue its proposals.
  2. Ask the Leader to reinforce the Council’s commitment to the environment, including climate change, by naming a member of the administration responsible for the Environment to promote the work being undertaken by the Council.
  3. Request the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee establish a Task & Finish Group to do the following:
    • Review Shropshire Council’s existing Environmental Policies and the effectiveness of actions already taken.
    • To come forward with further recommendations for Shropshire Council to consider in the future.

We encourage the Task & Finish Group to consider the following as starting points in their considerations:

    • Requiring all report risk assessments to include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible.
    • Clarify which Director level officer has responsibility for promoting the reduction, as rapidly as possible, of carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities.
    • Review the need for a Shropshire Council Climate Action Plan and any related delivery bodies.
    • Making Environmental Impact a consideration for inclusion within the Council’s procurement framework.

Shrewsbury Town Council - Climate change motion

This is the text of the motion submitted by Councillor Alan Mosley (Labour) to Shrewsbury Town Council:

This Council notes that the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities and others.

As well as increasing temperatures and more extreme weather, human activities are also having a massive impact on nature. The worldwide population of mammals, birds, fish and aquatic creatures, amphibians and reptiles have plunged by almost 60 percent, since 1970. Current rates of species extinction are 100- to 1,000-times higher than the ‘standard rate’ of extinction. There are also huge health impacts associated with fossil fuels, for example, air pollution causes 40,000 excess deaths every year in the UK and reduces average life span globally by 2 years.

To reduce the chance of runaway global warming and limit the effects of climate breakdown, it is imperative that, as a species, we reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible. Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm. The good news is there are many social, environmental and economic benefits in doing so.

We welcome action by London, Bristol and other City Councils around the world to declare and commit resources to tackling a ‘Climate Emergency’. We also welcome actions by other Town and Borough Councils such as Scarborough, Frome and Stroud and more locally Machynlleth and Oswestry to pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030.

We therefore resolve that Shrewsbury Town Council:-

      1. Supports the Declaration of a Climate Emergency
      2. Pledges to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030
      3. Calls on Westminster to provide powers and resources to make this possible
      4. Signs up to the Covenant of Mayors
      5. Requests that the Finance and General Purposes Committee develops a detailed Action Plan in pursuit of the above objectives and reports back within 6 months.

Oswestry Town Council - Climate change motion

This is the text of the motion submitted by Councillor Olly Rose to Oswestry Town Council:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report in October 2018 on the subject of "Global Warming of 1.5°C". The report is an international effort to summarise the current scientific consensus on how society might limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, as well as the likely consequences of this and greater levels of warming occuring. The report makes clear the huge scale of the emergency facing us all. In order to limit warming to 1.5°C it will be necessary to halve global carbon emissions by 2030 and to achieve near-zero net emissions by 2050.

To facilitate the reduction of carbon emissions, Oswestry Council resolves to:

    1. Commit to becoming a carbon-neutral organisation by 2030. Create a carbon audit and action plan for achieving this aim by the end of 2019. In order to facilitate this a working group will be set up.
    2. Where relevant include carbon emissions implications in officers reports.
    3. Seek ways to facilitate and encourage our community in reducing direct and indirect CO2 emissions and to become resilient to changes caused by the changing climate. We will take active steps where possible to encourage:
      • More sustainable transport
      • Reductions in energy use in homes, businesses and elsewhere
      • Use and development of renewable energy sources
      • Production, sale and consumption of locally sourced food
      • Reduction in consumption of animal products
      • Any other methods of achieving the aims above
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