Lancing Parish Council has passed a motion declaring a ‘climate emergency’.
It is the first parish council in West Sussex to declare that there is a climate emergency and described it as a ‘big and real opportunity for everyone to come together’.
The motion was put forward by councillor Lydia Pope, who has been elected as the new chairman, and was seconded by councillor Lee Cowen.
Mrs Pope said: “I am very excited. It is a great step forward for Lancing Parish Council. And the message is that it is urgent and it is an emergency.
“I also hope it sends out a message that Lancing Parish Council is really attuned to the needs of its local community. And it understands that it needs to do more to support our local community and future generations.”
The motion asks the parish council to declare a ‘climate emergency’, commit to make the parish council’s activity carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest, both directly in its day-to-day activity and indirectly through its procurement and outsourcing.
I am very excited. It is a great step forward for Lancing Parish Council.Lydia Pope
It asks the council to commit to work in partnership with other organisations to determine and implement best practice methods that limit global warming and/or mitigate the impact of climate change.
And it asks it to incorporate and prioritise climate change impact mitigation into all decision and clerk reports, plans and reviews put to council, including contracts and procurement; and set up a task and finish group to develop an action plan to deliver on these commitments.
Mrs Pope said the parish council wants to hear any ideas residents may have to reduce carbon footprint, and said they can contact the clerk at the parish hall.
“No idea is too silly or too small,” she said, adding: “We are not talking about giving up our luxuries and going back to the stone age, it is about making different lifestyle choices.”
She said there is an agreement across the board that, globally, humans have accelerated global warming.
“If we choose to take our car somewhere, that is a choice,” said Mrs Pope.
“But we can choose just as easily not to do that. It is really just about starting – and hopefully there will be a snowball effect.”