Agenda item

Supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill

Proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff

Green Member motion

Council notes that, on 12 August 2020, the CEE Bill Alliance launched the campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill which was presented to Parliament on 2 September. This is a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) written by scientists, lawyers and activists; it is gathering support from a broad range of campaign groups, businesses, charities and individuals. The bill has the potential to become the most significant move forward since the Climate Change Act 2008 (which also notably started as a PMB)

At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from across the political spectrum including Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat.

In summary, the Bill will set an emergency path for the UK to follow. It will see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that will put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy. This key objectives of the Bill are to:

·       Ensure that the UK plays its fair and proper role in limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C; and

·       Actively conserving the natural world

Full details of the CEE Bill and the background to it, can be found at: https://www.ceebill.uk/

This Council recognised the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency in January 2019 subsequently holding its own Citizen Assembly in Autumn 2019 and well as setting up its own Climate Emergency Review scrutiny group. All of these highlighted the important role that the Westminster Government in galvanising action.

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for the CEE Bill by:

1.     Publicly expressing its support for the CEE Bill by joining the campaign and encouraging individual Councillors to do likewise

2.     Asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals

3.     Taking into account the aims and goals of the CEE Bill when setting its own strategies, policies and targets.

Minutes:

Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

Cllr Hayes proposed the amendment as set out in the briefing note. Cllr Simmons tabled a proposed further amendment to this:

replace points 3 and 4 with the following:

3. publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for proposals, such as Labour’s Green Economic Recovery, which accelerate or increase investment in green infrastructure and jobs;

4. where this is not already the case, aligning the Council’s own future strategies, policies and targets with the aims and goals of the CEE Bill   

Cllr Hayes accepted the further amendment, changing his amendment. Cllr Simmons then accepted the changed amendment, which with Council’s assent became the substantive motion for debate.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as amended was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Council notes that while Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency in May last year, Boris Johnson’s Government is not responding with the necessary urgency to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Council regrets that the Government’s recently announced climate budget contains just £3bn of new funding, meaning that its level of ambition pales in comparison to Germany's €42.8bn green stimulus and France's €35bn.

Council notes that on 12 August 2020 the CEE Bill Alliance launched the campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill which was presented to Parliament on 2 September. This is a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) written by scientists, lawyers and activists; gathering support from a broad range of campaign groups, businesses, charities and individuals. The bill has the potential to become the most significant move forward since the Climate Change Act 2008 (which also notably started as a PMB).

At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from Labour, Green, and Liberal Democrat MPs.

The Bill is a Presentation Bill (which does not involve a debate or a vote in Parliament but is a way of drawing attention to an issue which requires a real change in the law). The nature of the Bill could see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that would put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy.

This Council recognised the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency in January 2019 subsequently holding its own Citizen Assembly in Autumn 2019 and setting up its own Climate Emergency Review scrutiny group. All of these highlighted the important role of the Westminster Government in galvanising action.

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for urgent climate action and significant new national funding to match the scale of the climate emergency and jobs crisis we face by:

1.     welcoming the CEE Bill for raising awareness and sharing ideas; and

2.     asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals;

3.     publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for proposals, such as Labour’s Green Economic Recovery, which accelerate or increase investment in green infrastructure and jobs

4.     where this is not already the case, aligning the Council’s own future strategies, policies and targets with the aims and goals of the CEE Bill.