Recommendation for Buckinghamshire Council to become carbon neutral by 2030 following district council debate

Extinction Rebellion protesters outside Bucks County Council's offices
Extinction Rebellion protesters outside Bucks County Council's offices

Buckinghamshire Council is being urged to become carbon neutral by 2030 following a debate at an Aylesbury Vale District Council meeting on Wednesday.

Labour councillor Robin Stuchbury submitted a motion to the district council calling for them to do their bit to tackle climate change days after Extinction Rebellion protesters demonstrated in Aylesbury.

The group stuck copies of a climate change declaration on both council buildings in protest at what they believe is a lack of action on the subject.

The topic was debated at length during the district council meeting on September 18 after Cllr Stuchbury proposed the following motion: “It is now clear that the world has less than 12 years to switch from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“Reducing use and switching to clean energy will also increase energy security, improve air quality, minimise fuel poverty, boost the local economy and provide employment and training opportunities.

“This council therefore declares a climate emergency and commits to asking the future Buckinghamshire unitary authority to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

Conservative councillor Paul Irwin submitted an amendment to the motion which removed the timescale on the move.

Lib Dem councillor Llew Monger then submitted a second amendment reinstating the original 2030 deadline which was passed unanimously.

The district council also agreed to pursue a number of other initiatives including:

> Setting up a climate change group to involve the wider population and stakeholders

> Publicising and promoting measures residents can take to help reduce climate change

> Lobby local MPs and call on the government to provide additional funding and help to enable us to undertake the changes necessary to reduce the carbon footprint in Aylesbury Vale.

The council also agreed to recommend to the new Buckinghamshire Council that it continues the legacy of AVDC’s carbon reduction pathway and the adoption of successful environmental measures - and this was added to with a further amendment that read “in order that the new authority is carbon neutral by 2030”.

The debate on the motions lasted for around an hour and a quarter with Cllr Stuchbury, who originally proposed the motion saying: “I am happy with the outcome and that the commitment to going carbon neutral was made but the process could have been much simpler if the original proposal had been agreed in the first place.”