West Berkshire Climate Emergency petition progress

A few months ago many of you kindly signed a petition which was asking Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury, to support the government to declare a Climate Emergency in order to take more action on climate change. Since then many things happened so although this story hasn’t quite reached the end of the road, I wanted to give you an update.

In total we gathered 704 signatures and we presented the petition to Richard Benyon in May. However, a week or so before we met with him, the UK government declared a climate emergency and the Climate Change Act has been updated to target net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

So, you might be wondering what use was our petition… well, I’m pleased to say that it will be very useful!

Net zero by 2050 only gives 50% chance of remaining below 1.5 degrees of warming – the safe limit set by the international panel of climate scientists. Therefore, West Berkshire council, along with over 70 councils now, have declared a climate emergency with a target of net zero by 2030. Now, this will involve some upfront investment although the payback tends to be financially positive in the long-term, and so Richard Benyon’s team have turned our petition into a request to the government to open up more funding for local authorities to invest in carbon zero schemes. This will be presented to parliament after the summer recess.

Thanks for your involvement to make this happen!

Best wishes,

West Berkshire Climate Action Network

If you want to get involved in local discussion on climate change with ideas on reducing carbon footprint on an individual level, local and national level – please join the facebook group West Berkshire Climate Action Network


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