Local Greens say they’re ‘disappointed’ at the borough council’s ‘lack of ambition’ when it comes to fighting climate change.
And Hastings and Rye Green Party is also unhappy that despite the impetus for the motion coming from them in the first place, neither the motion, nor the proposer, council leader Peter Chowney, or seconder, Councillor Maya Evans, made any mention of what local green campaigners see as being their ‘crucial role’ in having the issue raised at Wednesday’s meeting of the full council in the first place.
The motion was passed unanimously at the end of a long meeting at which more than 50 members of the public were present. Among other pledges, Hastings Borough Council promised to establish a climate change working group to press ahead with sustainable energy generation on council land and to develop a procurement policy that reduces carbon emissions.
The motion included one of the Green Party’s suggestions to review the Local Plan to require all new buildings to meet rigorous energy efficiency standards. This, say local Green Party members, could mean that the 500 houses the council plans to build could have very low energy bills.
Hastings Green Party had gathered signatures of support for a climate emergency motion from almost 1,000 individuals, as well as over 70 local organisations and businesses, in advance of the council meeting. The motion by HBC follows those in a number of other councils across the UK which have already declared a climate emergency, including London, Glasgow, Kirklees, Bristol and Scarborough.
Hastings Green Party spokesperson Julia Hilton said, “We initiated the idea of a climate emergency motion, and welcome the commitment of the council to move Hastings to being carbon neutral by 2030. However, we are disappointed with the lack of interim timescales or binding commitments in the motion. Now the council needs to take urgent action to ensure this motion has real impact. We’re also calling on our Labour county councillors to build a consensus to bring a similar motion to East Sussex County Council so we have a county-wide commitment to urgent action on climate change.”
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