Last Tuesday, two members of the public attended the Leeds City Council Climate Emergency Advisory Committee open forum. The open forum allows members of the public five minutes to speak about matters relating to the “climate crisis.”
Below are excerpts from the open forum where Suzanne and Trudie questioned the thinking that underpins policymaking and informed councillors of the wider implications of the measures being pursued by the council.
Suzanne and Trudie presented information to the Leeds City Council that demonstrated the “climate emergency” plans being considered have been long in the making and how far-reaching their impact will be if they are implemented.
“The amount of information available in relation to net zero, the climate emergency and the plan to make Leeds carbon neutral by 2030 – which is just six and a half years away – is enormous,” Suzanne began. “Do you know there is no consensus on what a climate emergency is? Do you also know that the UK government has not actually declared a climate emergency?”
The idea of a ”climate emergency” in the UK was an approval of a motion put forward by Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, there was no vote taken on the subject, Suzanne explained.
In May 2019, then leader of the opposition Corbyn gave a speech in parliament:
Today this House must declare an environment and climate emergency … There is no time to waste. We are living in a climate crisis … I was deeply moved … by children on strike from school chanting “our planet, our future”. … We are witnessing an unprecedented upsurge of climate activism with groups like Extinction Rebellion forcing the politicians in this building to listen … The protests … are a massive and necessary wake-up call … We must be absolutely clear-eyed about the Paris Agreement. As significant as it is – it is not enough.