Barnet Conservative councillors refused to accept Labour’s sensible proposal for an early report on post-pandemic recovery planning at last night’s Urgency Committee. The Tories did not want tackling the climate emergency to be a central part of the recovery planning, despite the Government saying that this was crucial. Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings, would not support taking out reference to climate change and so the Tories rejected the amendment outright.
Barnet Labour’s lead on Environment, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said: “The Government made clear only two days ago that tackling climate change must be integral to recovery planning for the economic crisis that is sure to follow the Covid-19 pandemic, yet the Barnet Conservatives have refused to include this as part of Barnet’s recovery planning.
“Climate scientists and meteorologists have also said the pandemic provides an opportunity to rethink our choices and find more sustainable transport and energy solutions.
“Every time we raise the climate emergency the Barnet Tories either remove reference to it or vote against it. They are completely out of step with scientific experts and even their own Government.”
- Climate Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, is reported saying (25 April): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52418624
“I am committed to increasing global climate ambition so that we deliver on the Paris Agreement (to stabilise temperature rise well below 2C).
“The world must work together, as it has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, to support a green and resilient recovery, which leaves no one behind.
“At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, we will come together to discuss how we can turn ambition into real action.”
- Climate scientist, Karsten Haustein (University of Oxford) was reported to say in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/27/meteorologists-say-2020-on-course-to-be-hottest-year-since-records-began
“The climate crisis continues unabated. The emissions will go down this year, but the concentrations keep on rising. We are very unlikely to be able to notice any slowdown in the built-up of atmospheric GHG levels. But we have the unique chance now to reconsider our choices and use the corona crisis as a catalyst for more sustainable means of transport and energy production (via incentives, taxes, carbon prices etc).”
Climate spokesperson for the Met Office, Graham Madge also reported by the Guardian saying:
“A reliance and trust in science to inform action from governments and society to solve a global emergency are exactly the measures needed to seed in plans to solve the next crisis facing mankind: climate change.”
- For a copy of Barnet Labour’s proposal on recovery planning see: https://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/2020/04/27/tonights-urgency-committee-labour-councillors-publish-amendment-on-recovery-planning/