Wealden council leaders back declaring climate emergency

Cabinet member Roy Galley said: "It is not an exaggeration to call that a climate emergency."
Cabinet member Roy Galley said: "It is not an exaggeration to call that a climate emergency."

Wealden council leaders have given their backing to calls for the council to declare a climate emergency. 

At a meeting on Wednesday (July 17), Wealden District Council’s cabinet resolved to recommend the full council declare a ‘climate emergency’ in light of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The matter is set to be discussed by councillors when they meet for a full council meeting next Wednesday (July 24). 

Cllr Roy Galley, the council’s lead member for environment, said: “I think it is important that the council does acknowledge that we have a very significant problem with climate change and it is not an exaggeration to call that a climate emergency.

“What we can do as a council is quite limited, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to play our part fully in taking measures to improve the future.

“I think, for many of us, it is our children and grandchildren we are most concerned about and the sort of world they may inherit when – for some of us around the table – we are in the ground.

“I would say Wealden District Council has a good record in terms of the number of environmental measures we have put in place. 

“But what we now need to do is take that more seriously and take that forward.” 

Cllr Galley said he would want the council’s approach to be “evidence-based”, non-confrontational and involve the whole community in changing habits. 

Council leader Bob Standley also welcomed the move, saying the council should aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest, with the hope of reaching this target before then. 

As well as recommending the declaration, cabinet members also agreed to recommend a number of actions the council should take to achieve its goals.

Alongside this the council agreed to request a council advisory group look at what else should be done within a long-term climate change action plan.