Birmingham councillors call for action on climate change

Council to debate cross party motion to declare a climate emergency.

Last month the Birmingham Conservative Group submitted a motion to be debated at the full council meeting in June to declare a ‘climate emergency’ and take urgent steps to address the problems of global warming.

Since then, following discussions between the parties a cross party motion has now been agreed that will go to the June council meeting. With the agreed cross party support for this joint motion the Conservatives have now withdrawn their original motion submitted first, last month.

Leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Robert Alden (Con, Erdington – pictured) said: “We are delighted that a form of wording has been agreed by all the parties to put forward a cross party motion on this vital issue. The consequences to our planet of not acting now will be catastrophic, but the impact will not just be felt in far-away lands or coastal areas, the impact on Birmingham residents of increased extreme weather events, including flooding, droughts and heatwaves is likely to be profound, with increased risks to both life and property.

“We absolutely have to act, and we have to act now. Thank you to the councillors from other parties who formed the group to discuss a joint motion, together we have agreed a common cross party motion that shows everyone how seriously the council must take this going forward”

The motion calls on the council to commit to becoming net zero carbon by 2030 as well as working with others across the region to ensure that the West Midlands is at the forefront of leading the technological change required. This would mean that as well as helping prevent/limit climate change, the region would also be able to deliver economic growth through leading in the green technology revolution.

This builds on commitments from the Conservative group at the last all out elections in 2018 to ensure the council leads the green technology revolution and delivers a modern day environmentally friendly equivalent to the industrial revolution the region is famous for. The Conservative group were the only party to publish a clean air plan for Birmingham at the last local elections.

Cllr Alden added, “Addressing climate change is a huge challenge, but it is also an opportunity. Birmingham was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and is ideally placed to lead a new green technology revolution based on clean growth through the delivery of low carbon products and services and through this provide more high quality, well paid jobs for residents in the region. I look forward to working with colleagues across the council to hold the executive to account and deliver on this all important agenda.”

Cllr Suzanne Webb (Con, Castle Vale) commented, “Residents young and old alike have been raising with Conservative councillors the need for the Council to show leadership and back their concerns over the future of our climate.

“It is vital that the council leads on this issue and it is great that in the end our original motion has not been needed as all parties are now coming together and backing this motion so that the many concerned residents who have no doubt contacted councillors from all parties or who have shown up to public meetings and events to raise awareness of the need to tackle climate change know that we are on their side and acting on the concerns they have raised”.