Tue, 05 Mar 2019
DEMONSTRATORS urging West Berkshire Council to declare a ‘climate emergency’ are set to stage a protest outside the local authority’s Market Street offices next week.
The peaceful protest, which is being organised by West Berkshire Green Party, will be held at 5pm to coincide with the start of a full council budget meeting on Tuesday.
The demonstration will seek to build on the momentum of the Schools Strike 4 Climate march, where 100 school pupils protested outside Newbury Town Hall on Friday, February 15.
It will also highlight a petition calling on the local authority to follow other councils in advancing its commitment to become a zero net-carbon zone by 2030.
The petition, led by West Berkshire Green Party, gained more than 1,600 signatures to force the debate, which will be the first of its kind to be discussed by district councillors later this year.
The UK is currently targeting a reduction of 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and West Berkshire’s own aims to reduce carbon emissions are aligned to this.
A total of 27 councils have declared a ‘climate emergency’ as part of a wide campaign by the Green Party to force local authorities to act against climate change on a regional level.
Climate emergencies have also been declared by 10 parish or town councils.
The Green Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Newbury, Steve Masters, who led the petition, said: “Tuesday’s demonstration will be to keep the issue very much in the forefront of councillors’ minds.
“If we are to make the changes local, every policy and every budget decision has to have a carbon audit to ensure it isn’t contributing to the district emissions.
“The clock is ticking and we owe it to our children, grandchildren and future generations to act now.
“I am proud that we have put climate change on the local agenda and hopeful that now it is an important local issue we can move forward as a community and change things for the better.”