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Agenda item

Notice Of Motion Regarding "A Climate Emergency" - Given By Councillor Martin Phipps And To Be Seconded By Councillor Alison Teal

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) Special Report, published in October 2018, which describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in observed global mean surface temperatures above pre-industrial levels is likely to cause, but also tells us that a limit of 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and local government, the private sector and local communities;

 

(b)       notes that carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

 

(c)        notes that many cities around the world, including Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton, Bradford, Manchester and London, are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this;

 

(d)       notes that this Council has already published a Green City Strategy, which aims to set out a course of ensuring Sheffield is a zero-carbon city by 2050;

 

(e)       believes that cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit systems;

 

(f)        believes that local governments are well placed to make the case for climate action to national governments but also believes that local governments should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;

 

(g)       therefore, declares a ‘Climate Emergency’;

 

(h)       pledges to make plans to bring forward the Council’s existing target to be a zero carbon city from 2050 to 2030;

 

(i)         asks this Administration to make a decisive contribution towards this vital target by ensuring that the forthcoming procurement of the Council’s electricity supply is drawn from renewable sources;

 

(j)         directs the Chief Executive to produce a report to Council within six months on the actions the Council needs to take to meet this revised target; and

 

(k)        resolves to send a copy of this motion to all Sheffield MPs and the Secretary of State for the Environment.

 

Minutes:

9.1

It was formally moved by Councillor Martin Phipps, and formally seconded by Councillor Alison Teal, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       notes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) Special Report, published in October 2018, which describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in observed global mean surface temperatures above pre-industrial levels is likely to cause, but also tells us that a limit of 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and local government, the private sector and local communities;

 

(b)       notes that carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

 

(c)        notes that many cities around the world, including Bristol, Nottingham, Brighton, Bradford, Manchester and London, are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this;

 

(d)       notes that this Council has already published a Green City Strategy, which aims to set out a course of ensuring Sheffield is a zero-carbon city by 2050;

 

 

 

(e)       believes that cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit systems;

 

(f)        believes that local governments are well placed to make the case for climate action to national governments but also believes that local governments should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;

 

(g)       therefore, declares a ‘Climate Emergency’;

 

(h)       pledges to make plans to bring forward the Council’s existing target to be a zero carbon city from 2050 to 2030;

 

(i)         asks this Administration to make a decisive contribution towards this vital target by ensuring that the forthcoming procurement of the Council’s electricity supply is drawn from renewable sources;

 

(j)         directs the Chief Executive to produce a report to Council within six months on the actions the Council needs to take to meet this revised target; and

 

(k)        resolves to send a copy of this motion to all Sheffield MPs and the Secretary of State for the Environment.

 

 

9.2

Whereupon, it was formally moved by Councillor Neale Gibson, and formally seconded by Councillor Jack Scott, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

(a)       believes that climate change and sustainability are amongst the biggest issues of the 21st century and the effects of manmade and dangerous climate change are already manifestly occurring;

 

(b)       notes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other worrying changes;

 

(c)        notes that this Administration has previously categorised climate change as the biggest social justice issue of this century which requires bold, radical action, and last year implemented the Green City Strategy - setting the goal of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050, showing our city’s commitment towards making our contribution towards the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement;

 

(d)       recognises the critical role that cities have to play in delivering a zero carbon future and that whilst the present Government have, in this Council’s opinion, been woefully inadequate at rising to the scale of the climate change challenge, city leaders can take innovative solutions to address many of the causes and impact of climate change on a systemic level;

 

(e)       recalls that the city has already undertaken a number of innovative and bold initiatives that are aimed at reducing our impact on the climate and reducing our city’s carbon emissions, but recognises that limiting global warming cannot be achieved by a single organisation or a technological silver bullet, and requires changes to how we all live, work and play and believes every citizen has a role to play in securing a climate safe future;

 

(f)        further notes that, in recognition of this, the Administration established a Green City Partnership Board, with representation from key city stakeholders including our universities, the private sector and community and voluntary organisations, including the Sheffield Climate Alliance, with the agreed purpose of ensuring that Sheffield can achieve the Green City Strategy objectives and deliver a low carbon, resilient and sustainable city;

 

(g)       notes that, over the period 2013/14 to 2016/17, the Council has reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 19%, and that this Administration has also initiated schemes to reduce carbon emissions throughout the city, such as:-

 

 

 

(i)         as a landlord with over 40,000 homes, Sheffield City Council has invested in improving the fabric and insulation of our homes and installed high-efficiency gas central heating boilers in the majority of homes, and as a result, our homes have increased their SAP11 (Standard Assessment Procedure) energy rating from 64 out of 100 in 2005 to 71 in 2016-17;

 

(ii)        use of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles as part of its vehicle fleet since 2017, noting that the vehicles use the wind powered mini-grid hydrogen refuelling station at the Advanced Manufacturing Park;

 

(iii)       continued development of the district heat network, turning local waste into electricity and heat for the city, with up to 45MW of heat produced and supplied to over 140 buildings connected to the District Energy Network; in addition, the facility generates up to 21MW of electricity to the National Grid, which is enough to power 25,000 homes;

 

(iv)       using new technology where available, including 66,800 new LED streetlights;

 

(v)        our Ethical Procurement approach ensures that the Council’s suppliers do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint;

 

(vi)       as well as reducing carbon, we are committed to improving the city’s air – we are looking at implementing a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, tackling the most polluting vehicles, and we are the first large city to introduce anti-idling measures to stop people leaving their engines running outside schools; and

 

(vii)      our transport strategy is seeking to make sustainable modes of transport the number one choice for people in Sheffield;

 

 

 

(h)       notes that the IPCC report identifies cities as one of four critical global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action, but recognises this will require major transitions in how both mitigation and adaptation are undertaken and, therefore, we need to consider the opportunities the city has to deliver on a revised commitment, as there is only a limited advantage to be gained in setting a target without clear deliverable actions that will enable us as a city to achieve this;

 

(i)         believes that, as a city, we have made considerable progress in carbon reduction but we need to go further still in light of the IPCC’s special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, which confirmed the catastrophic consequences of manmade climate change and urgent need to act;

 

(j)         therefore declares unequivocally that our city, country and planet are facing a CLIMATE EMERGENCY;

 

(k)        notes that as a result of this call for action, the Green City Partnership Board will be exploring how Sheffield should respond to the IPCC report, both in terms of actions as well as reviewing our existing commitment to become a zero carbon city by 2050; and

 

(l)         supports this Administration’s commitment to report back to Full Council within 6 months, with a more ambitious date for the city to become zero carbon, accompanied by an action plan setting out the required work to deliver a new goal through all relevant strategies and plans, and would entirely and actively welcome the involvement of the cross-party scrutiny system in shaping and overseeing this vital work.

 

 

9.3

It was then formally moved by Councillor Gail Smith, and formally seconded by Councillor Mohammed Mahroof, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of new paragraphs (l) to (u) as follows:-

 

 

 

(l)         notes the Liberal Democrat commitments to legislate with:-

 

 

 

(i)         a Zero Carbon Act which would commit Britain to be a net zero carbon emitter;

 

(ii)        a Green Transport Act to tackle the public health crisis of air pollution;

 

(iii)       a Green Buildings Act to introduce a zero carbon homes standard and tackle fuel poverty;

 

(iv)       a Nature Act in order to protect and restore bio-diversity, and pay farmers public money for public goods; and

 

(v)        a  Zero Waste Act to introduce legally binding targets for cutting waste;

 

 

 

(m)      notes that 1.5°C of warming is most likely to occur around 2040 and therefore believes we need to take radical action to decarbonise well before this time at local, national and global levels of governance;

 

(n)       notes that, for Sheffield to be carbon neutral by 2030, it will require broad political consensus and public support for radical policymaking proposals;

 

(o)       believes that citizen involvement should be central to climate action decision-making in order to demonstrate consensus and community support, and that the zero carbon Sheffield by 2030 target also requires an evidence-based approach that is informed by experts;

 

(p)       requests the Administration to make plans for a Citizen’s Assembly to inform Sheffield City Council (SCC) policymaking on Council-wide decarbonisation plans, and for the Citizen’s Assembly to have an explicit agenda to explore the achievable pathways (set of policies) to zero carbon by 2030 and inform SCC of the preferred pathway(s), decided by consensus;

 

(q)       directs the Chief Executive to report back within one month with a proposed timetable, independent discussion facilitators and experts to help lead evidence-based and unbiased dialogue among Citizen’s Assembly participants; and that SCC should decide how the Citizen’s Assembly will interact with the Green City Partnership Board;

 

 

 

(r)        notes the concerns raised across the country into the exploration of shale gas and recent earthquakes attributed to fracking across the UK;

 

(s)        notes that the ten local authorities that make up Greater Manchester will write into their planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas and that the Greater Manchester Region have adopted a region-wide policy of opposition to fracking;

 

(t)         calls for Sheffield City Council to write into its planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas; and

 

(u)       calls for all local authorities in the Sheffield City Region to commit to a policy of opposition to fracking.

 

 

9.4

It was then formally moved by Councillor John Booker, and formally seconded by Councillor Rob Murphy, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of new paragraphs (l) to (p) as follows:-

 

 

 

(l)         believes that declaring a "Climate Emergency" is similar to the Brexit "Project Fear" campaign, and that this type of approach helps no one come to a positive outcome in any debate or action;

 

(m)      (i) contends that if the Green Party hopes to turn Sheffield into a zero carbon city by 2030, they must state the facts and figures of how this will be achieved and (ii) believes that investing in renewable energy should be supported if it can deliver electricity at competitive rates, but that British families must not be pushed into fuel poverty by politicians enforcing expensive and failing fuel policies;

 

(n)       notes the push towards hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars, which do their bit to reduce tailpipe emissions, but extra electricity needs to be produced at our power stations, and further notes that (i) electric cars actually increase pollution in places like China, which produces the largest proportion of lithium-ion battery cells and, more importantly, their precursor materials, (ii) the critical element is the anode, often made of graphite, and the average electric car uses 110 pounds of graphite, as do laptops and smartphones to a much lesser degree, and (iii) China supplies much of that demand, but graphite production causes significant pollution in the country;

 

(o)       further believes that hydro power is part of the solution in relation to renewable energy in Sheffield and the country, and that, with our five rivers running through Sheffield, it would be wonderful to see modern waterwheels and the like once again gracing our waterways; and

 

(p)       also believes that (i) all resources are precious and should not be abused or used inappropriately, (ii) all balanced people believe in a clean and sustainable environment for all to co-exist in, (iii) from the industrial revolution to the present day, momentous changes have taken place, mostly for the better, and (iv) for these improvements to keep moving forward, personal doctrines and ideologies must be moved aside.

 

 

9.5

The amendment moved by Councillor Neale Gibson was put to the vote and was carried.

 

 

9.6

The amendment moved by Councillor Gail Smith was put to the vote and was carried, except for paragraphs (l), (p) and (q) which were negatived.

 

 

9.7

The amendment moved by Councillor John Booker was put to the vote and was negatived.

 

 

9.7.1

(NOTE: Councillors Kaltum Rivers, Douglas Johnson, Robert Murphy, Martin Phipps and Alison Teal voted for paragraphs (m)(ii) and (o), and abstained from voting on paragraphs (l), (m)(i), (n) and (p) of the amendment, and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

 

9.8

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       believes that climate change and sustainability are amongst the biggest issues of the 21st century and the effects of manmade and dangerous climate change are already manifestly occurring;

 

(b)       notes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detail that we are already seeing the consequences of a 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other worrying changes;

 

(c)        notes that this Administration has previously categorised climate change as the biggest social justice issue of this century which requires bold, radical action, and last year implemented the Green City Strategy - setting the goal of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050, showing our city’s commitment towards making our contribution towards the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement:-

 

(d)       recognises the critical role that cities have to play in delivering a zero carbon future and that whilst the present Government have, in this Council’s opinion, been woefully inadequate at rising to the scale of the climate change challenge, city leaders can take innovative solutions to address many of the causes and impact of climate change on a systemic level;

 

 

 

(e)       recalls that the city has already undertaken a number of innovative and bold initiatives that are aimed at reducing our impact on the climate and reducing our city’s carbon emissions, but recognises that limiting global warming cannot be achieved by a single organisation or a technological silver bullet, and requires changes to how we all live, work and play and believes every citizen has a role to play in securing a climate safe future;

 

(f)        further notes that, in recognition of this, the Administration established a Green City Partnership Board, with representation from key city stakeholders including our universities, the private sector and community and voluntary organisations, including the Sheffield Climate Alliance, with the agreed purpose of ensuring that Sheffield can achieve the Green City Strategy objectives and deliver a low carbon, resilient and sustainable city;

 

(g)       notes that, over the period 2013/14 to 2016/17, the Council has reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 19%, and that this Administration has also initiated schemes to reduce carbon emissions throughout the city, such as:-

 

 

 

(i)         as a landlord with over 40,000 homes, Sheffield City Council has invested in improving the fabric and insulation of our homes and installed high-efficiency gas central heating boilers in the majority of homes, and as a result, our homes have increased their SAP11 (Standard Assessment Procedure) energy rating from 64 out of 100 in 2005 to 71 in 2016-17;

 

(ii)        use of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles as part of its vehicle fleet since 2017, noting that the vehicles use the wind powered mini-grid hydrogen refuelling station at the Advanced Manufacturing Park;

 

(iii)       continued development of the district heat network, turning local waste into electricity and heat for the city, with up to 45MW of heat produced and supplied to over 140 buildings connected to the District Energy Network; in addition, the facility generates up to 21 MW of electricity to the National Grid, which is enough to power 25,000 homes;

 

(iv)       using new technology where available, including 66,800 new LED streetlights;

 

 

 

(v)        our Ethical Procurement approach ensures that the Council’s suppliers do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint;

 

(vi)       as well as reducing carbon, we are committed to improving the city’s air – we are looking at implementing a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, tackling the most polluting vehicles, and we are the first large city to introduce anti-idling measures to stop people leaving their engines running outside schools; and

 

(vii)      our transport strategy is seeking to make sustainable modes of transport the number one choice for people in Sheffield;

 

 

 

(h)       notes that the IPCC report identifies cities as one of four critical global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action, but recognises this will require major transitions in how both mitigation and adaptation are undertaken and, therefore, we need to consider the opportunities the city has to deliver on a revised commitment, as there is only a limited advantage to be gained in setting a target without clear deliverable actions that will enable us as a city to achieve this;

 

(i)         believes that, as a city, we have made considerable progress in carbon reduction but we need to go further still in light of the IPCC’s special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, which confirmed the catastrophic consequences of manmade climate change and urgent need to act;

 

(j)         therefore declares unequivocally that our city, country and planet are facing a CLIMATE EMERGENCY;

 

(k)        notes that as a result of this call for action, the Green City Partnership Board will be exploring how Sheffield should respond to the IPCC report, both in terms of actions as well as reviewing our existing commitment to become a zero carbon city by 2050;

 

(l)         supports this Administration’s commitment to report back to Full Council within 6 months, with a more ambitious date for the city to become zero carbon, accompanied by an action plan setting out the required work to deliver a new goal through all relevant strategies and plans, and would entirely and actively welcome the involvement of the cross-party scrutiny system in shaping and overseeing this vital work;

 

 

 

(m)      notes that 1.5°C of warming is most likely to occur around 2040 and therefore believes we need to take radical action to decarbonise well before this time at local, national and global levels of governance;

 

(n)       notes that, for Sheffield to be carbon neutral by 2030, it will require broad political consensus and public support for radical policymaking proposals;

 

(o)       believes that citizen involvement should be central to climate action decision-making in order to demonstrate consensus and community support, and that the zero carbon Sheffield by 2030 target also requires an evidence-based approach that is informed by experts;

 

(p)       notes the concerns raised across the country into the exploration of shale gas and recent earthquakes attributed to fracking across the UK;

 

 

 

(q)       notes that the ten local authorities that make up Greater Manchester will write into their planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas and that the Greater Manchester Region have adopted a region-wide policy of opposition to fracking;

 

(r)        calls for Sheffield City Council to write into its planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas; and

 

(s)        calls for all local authorities in the Sheffield City Region to commit to a policy of opposition to fracking.

 

 

 

9.8.1

(NOTE: 1. Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Bob Pullin, Richard Shaw, Mohammed Mahroof, Joe Otten, Martin Smith, Paul Scriven, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Sue Auckland, Steve Ayris, Gail Smith, David Baker, Penny Baker, Vickie Priestley and Mike Levery voted for paragraphs (a) to (e), (g) to (k) and (m) to (s), and abstained from voting on paragraphs (f) and (l) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded; and

 

 

 

2. Councillors Kaltum Rivers, Douglas Johnson, Robert Murphy, Martin Phipps and Alison Teal voted for paragraphs (a) to (d), (i), (j) and (m) to (s), voted against paragraph (h), and abstained from voting on paragraphs (e), (f), (g), (k) and (l) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded.)