We campaigned in 2019 for East Herts Council to declare a Climate Emergency. We promoted a petition on change.org and canvassed local support with a stand at the Bishop’s Stortford carnival and with posters around the town. The petition was presented to East Herts council in advance of the meeting on 25th July 2019.
A motion that the council should declare a Climate Emergency was submitted at this meeting by Councillor Bell (Liberal Democrats) but modified by an amendment supported by the councilllors in the Conservative group. This amendment removed the term ’emergency’ from the wording that was finally adopted.
They cited that, by definition emergencies are sudden, and that the problem of climate change is not sudden; flippantly suggesting that they have lived through the threat of a hydrogen bomb and so they would know if it was an emergency. This was despite it being pointed out during the meeting that 171 Councils, Hertfordshire County Council and the Conservative Government have all declared a climate emergency.
We are hugely disappointed that the Conservative members of East Herts District Council are not prepared to recognise that we collectively have generated a climate emergency.
Nonetheless we are pleased to see the council commit to a target of carbon neutrality by 2030 for the district, requiring them to take radical action, including not giving planning permission to new housing and business developments which are not capable of meeting that target.
We will be closely monitoring their plans and progress.