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Bridport Town Council

Climate Emergency Action Plan 2019

The Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in May 2019 and has produced a
Climate Action Plan.

Keeping the Climate Action Plan Under Review

Town Councillors have established a Climate Action Sub Committee to oversee and steer the delivery of the Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Sub Committee has been meeting monthly to receive project updates and has produced a priorities document for 2022/23:

 Background

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve

a crisis without treating it as a crisis. […] And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should

change the system itself.” Greta Thunberg, COP 24, Katowice, Poland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q0xUXo2zEY

During 2019 the impacts of the changing climate have become increasingly visible. Public protests have led to widespread awareness of the risks of further climate change – and the remedies. Governments at all levels around the world are looking to step up their response. Carbon neutrality has now become a mainstream goal.

Bridport Town Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. The declaration included a commitment to produce a Climate Action Plan within 6 months.

The theory of change behind declaring a climate emergency is so that councils can provide leadership and help educate their communities about both the threat of and solutions to the climate crisis. This should then act to harness “people power” to make that change possible at all levels, especially driving higher levels of government to act and ultimately force them to pull the economic and legislative levers needed to reverse global warming and restore a safe climate.

Tough targets do not themselves reduce emissions. Action plans must be drawn up to deliver them. The climate crisis demands bigger solutions than we initially thought. We need to see the climate crisis not as a stand-alone issue floating separately from everything else, but also as a pressing and central response to promoting health, wellbeing and equality. This Action Plan therefore looks to build resilience in the face of the likely economic disruption from climate change. This will involve building strong communities and a vibrant, self-sustaining economy.

As noted by the Government’s Committee on Climate Change in its Progress Report to Parliament July 2019; there is a “substantial gap between current plans and future requirements and an even greater shortfall in action”. Government continues to be off track for the fourth and fifth carbon budgets – on their own appraisal – and the policy gap has widened further in 2019 as an increase in the projection of future emissions has outweighed the impact of new policies.

Even if net zero is achieved globally, our climate will continue to warm in the short-term, and sea level will continue to rise for centuries. We must plan for this reality. This requires rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors –

including energy, transport, food and agriculture – alongside bolder efforts to maximise the potential of carbon sinks such as woodlands, peatlands and soil. Combating climate change requires unified action across all sectors of society.

However, this collective action is precluded by the ‘consensus gap’ between scientific knowledge and public opinion.

This Action Plan for Bridport Town Council is based on a commitment to achieve a Net Zero Carbon* Bridport by 2030

 

 

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