Tewkesbury Borough Council has taken further action to tackle climate change. 

Councillors have votedunanimously to widen the scope of the climate emergency to include the whole borough, to declare an ecological emergency, and to support the Climate and Ecology Bill which is currently before parliament. 

Councillors previously declared a climate emergency in 2019, when the council committed to addressing greenhouse gas emissions created by its own activities and to becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.  

They have now furthered this commitment. At a meeting of full Council on Wednesday, 17 May 2023, they agreed to support a motion to: 

  • Declare a borough-wide climate emergency.  

  • Declare a nature (ecological) emergency, recognising that climate change and the resultant loss of biodiversity pose a threat to our wellbeing. 

  • Commit to doing everything possible to make Tewkesbury Borough carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production-based and consumer-based emissions. 

  • Declare its support for the Climate and Ecology Bill.  

The aim of the Climate and Ecology Bill is to tackle the climate and environmental crises together in line with the most up-to-date science, with the government obliged to develop a strategy for ensuring a comprehensive, joined-up approach to the emergency. If it becomes law, it will require the UK to achieve specific climate and nature targets.  

Councillors also agreed further actions, such as writing to the Government and working with partners across Gloucestershire to encourage wider support for tackling climate change. 

Councillor Sarah Hands, Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment, said: “The council is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and we have already instigated a vigorous carbon reduction programme, as evidenced by us winning Local Authority of the Year at the South West Energy Efficiency Awards this month.   

“To date, however, the steps taken to reduce our carbon footprint have been directed at the council’s own activities. Now, by declaring a borough-wide climate emergency, we are demonstrating our commitment to supporting all our residents and businesses in tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.”    

Councillor Cate Cody, ward member for Tewkesbury South, proposed the motion to widen the scope of the climate emergency. She added: “These declarations show that we acknowledge the need to address the dangers of climate change on a borough-wide basis.  

“The Climate and Ecology Bill, to which we offer our full support, recognises that the issues of climate change and environmental degradation are inextricably linked. We need to change course now – provided we translate declaration into action, by working together we can maintain biodiversity, prevent species loss and protect our natural environment.”  

Category: Environment