To receive a report from the Executive Director of Place on a response to the Climate Change Emergency. (Report No: 57)
Key Decision Reference: KD4950/U207
This report is due to be considered at a Cabinet meeting to be held on 8 July 2019. The Cabinet decision will be reported to Council at the meeting.
Cabinet is being asked to recommend that Council makes a commitment to make Enfield carbon neutral by 2030.
Councillor Nesil Caliskan moved and Councillor Ian Barnes seconded the report of the Executive Director Place on a response to the Climate Change Emergency. (Report No: 57)
1. This report had been considered at a Cabinet meeting held on 8 July 2019. Cabinet had agreed to recommend that the Council should make a commitment to make Enfield carbon neutral by 2030.
2. The Leader’s view that:
· This report provided clarity on an important issue which was subject to protest.
· The issue was also due to be debated in a motion later in the agenda.
· The issue required urgent attention. It was important that the Council should take the lead on making the borough carbon neutral by 2030, if not before. It represented a step change in attitudes.
· The Council will establish a Climate Emergency Task Force to determine how to achieve the target.
· The Council has a role to play in making sure that Enfield residents and businesses know the risks of climate change and how it will affect them.
· The Council will work with schools to get young people more involved in decision making that will affect their future lives and ensure that they help us make Enfield as green and sustainable as possible.
· The Council should be looking to divest in fossil fuel companies that increase carbon emissions.
· The Pension Policy Investment Committee had already begun to consider their investments, as was right and proper.
· The Leader thanked the Extinction Rebellion members for meeting her and for their campaign which had brought the issue to the fore.
· Further details would be considered during the discussion on the motion.
3. The response of the Leader of the Opposition, saying that she could not support the report and expressing:
· Concern that this issue had not been urgent when the motion was originally presented in January.
· Concern that it had only been bought forward because of pressure from local campaign groups.
· Concern that the report was weak, too narrowly focussed and contained little financial information on how the targets would be met.
· Concern that not all Cabinet members had been present when the declaration was originally signed.
· Concern that the new local plan had identified areas of the Green Belt for possible building, which she felt was contrary to the ambitions on climate change.
· Concern that the report had not included more on proposals to increase electric charging points and planting more trees.
4. Thanks to Extinction Rebellion for their brilliant campaign and for bringing the matter to the fore.
5. That the Cabinet had had a target and that members had signed a pledge on carbon reduction. They had also made a significant investment in green energy.
After the debate a vote was taken on the report recommendations and they were agreed with the following result:
1. To note that this report was considered by Cabinet at a meeting on 8 July 2019 and that Cabinet agreed to recommend the report to Council.
2. To approve a commitment to make Enfield Council carbon neutral by 2030 – or earlier if possible – and to undertake to move all strategic, budgetary and policy decisions in line with this shift.
3. To note that Cabinet was asked (8 July 2019) to establish a Climate Emergency Task Force of officers and members to determine how to achieve this target and to explore what more can be done to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the Council’s operations and supply chain, as well as across the borough, and to:
• Update the Sustainable Enfield plan by 2020 and submit it to Cabinet for approval.
• Involve all our partners, but especially the Youth Parliament, in updating the plan.
4. That the Pension Policy and Investment Committee consider revisions to the policy on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) within its Investment Strategy Statement. The new policy will require the Fund to review its holdings in companies ensuring they do contribute towards a de-carbonised economy. In particular, the Fund should continue to actively reduce its holdings in fossil fuel companies over a planned period of time.