Climate Emergency – What Emergency? Motions This Thursday, Hull CC

20 March 2019

 

Initiated by Hull Greens, a cross party Climate Change Motion is being brought to the Full Hull City Council Meeting this Thursday, 21st March.

 

We pushed for Hull to join 56 other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency.  The word 'Emergency' has been dropped.

Green Councillors having been pushing Councils across the UK to declate a Climate Emergency, and Hull Greens proposed that the City of Hull joins them.

As we don't have any Green Councillors in Hull (yet), Hull Greens proposed a Motion to Cllr Gill Kennett in January to take it forward, which she happily did.  Gill is Labour, and formerly of the Red Labour anti-austerity group.

It did not make it to the February meeting, but we're delighted to see it on the Agenda this month.  The wording is pretty close to what was proposed, but "Declare a Climate Emergency" (which Cllr Kennett certainly supports) has been dropped.

 

Mike Lammiman, Co-ordinator of Hull & East Riding Green Party said:

"We're delighted that with cross party support our Climate Emergency motion is being put to Council, and hope they will pass it, and act on it.  It would be even better if they keep the words, "Declare a Climate Emergency".  We now have very little chance of meeting the Paris target to limit warming to 2˚, and even that could tip us out of control in to a 'Hothouse Earth', with no way back.  The earth could become uninhabitable.  If that's not an Emergency, what is?"

 

Cllr Kennett's motion: "resolves to do everything within the Council's power to make Hull carbon neutral by 2030"

 

Richard Howarth, Hull & East Riding Green Party said:

"As the motion states, the current 1 degree of warming could result in 2m of sea level rise by 2100, enough to submerge Hull within the lifetime of today's children. 2 to 4 degrees of warming could see sea level rises of 5 to 9 metres.  This is an emergency.  Let's start acting like it."

 

Lib-Dem Motion

Richard Howarth added: "After waiting my entire life for governing institutions to start taking climate change seriously, 2 motions come along at once.  I notice that the Lib-Dem motion does declare a Climate Emergency, but the commitment is far weaker, as it only applies to the Council, rather than the whole City"

Cllr Robinson's motion:  "to ensure that Hull City Council becomes a carbon-neutral organisation by 2030"

Note that this only refers to Hull City Council, the organisation, as oppose to the whole city.

 

 

The Motions will be moved at the Full Council Meeting on Thursday 21st, 10:00 to 14:00, in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall.  The meetings are webcast here.

The full wording of the motions are listed from page 66 of the Agenda Document Pack, available here.

 

 

Notes 

 

A recent scientific paper in Nature found that by 2100 (so within the lifetime of today's children) there is only a 1% chance that global warming will be less than 1.5˚ (the Paris aim), and only 5% chance it will be less than 2˚ (the Paris target).

Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely – Nature, 2017

 

The 'Hothouse Earth' paper: Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene – PNAS, 2018

"This analysis implies that, even if the Paris Accord target of a 1.5 °C to 2.0 °C rise in temperature is met, we cannot exclude the risk that a cascade of feedbacks could push the Earth System irreversibly onto a “Hothouse Earth” pathway.

"We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. ... If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."  [emphasis added]

 

List of Councils the have declared, 56 in the UK so far: http://www.caceonline.org/councils-that-have-declared.html#