Protesters urge council to declare 'climate emergency'

Climate change campaigners gathered outside Shirehall in Shrewsbury this morning (16 May) ahead of a meeting of Shropshire Council decided to join other councils in declaring a climate emergency.

Hundreds of climate change protesters descended on Shropshire Council’s headquarters today. 

The group handed over a 1,000 signature petition from eXtinction Rebellion Shrewsbury, calling on the council to declare a climate change emergency.

The campaigners chanted, sang and read speeches outside Shirehall before motions about climate change from the Green Party, Labour Party and the ruling Conservative group were put before the council.  

The crowd, heard from 17-year-old Belle Lewis, who made a plea for people to help reduce C02.

She said: “I am 17 and I am here because I am scared of the future.

“I’m here because C02 levels have become higher than ever before in the course of human history.”

Roxanne Smith, from extinction Rebellion Shrewsbury, who led the chorus, said quick action was needed. 

Councillor Andy Boddington, member for Ludlow South, was also there.

He said: “A UN panel warns that we face a biodiversity crisis with a million species in threat of extinction. 

“Last month, CO2 levels in the atmosphere reached a level not seen since humans existed. 

My fear is that the council will adopt a motion that slaps itself on the back and declares business as usual.

"We need urgent action not token gestures."

Shropshire Council has now agreed to declare a climate change emergency, but did not agree to a date for when it aims to become carbon neutral.

Members discussed the issue for more than two hours before a motion was accepted.

It short, it means the council has now declared a climate change emergency and going forward, will be attaching carbon emission appraisals to all policy reports. 

Leader of the Council Peter Nutting will write to the secretary of state for the environment to aim for carbon neutrality by 2030; and draw up a climate change action plan.


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