Crawley council could declare climate emergency

A climate change protest held in Chichester earlier this year
A climate change protest held in Chichester earlier this year

Crawley councillors will be asked to declare a climate emergency when they meet later this month.

A notice of motion will be debated at a town hall meeting on July 17, calling for the council’s carbon footprint to be almost halved within the next ten years.

Cabinet member Geraint Thomas

Cabinet member Geraint Thomas

It also asks for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own pledge.

Tabling the motion will be Geraint Thomas, cabinet member for environmental services, seconded by deputy leader Peter Smith.

Mr Thomas pointed out that protecting the environment was a job for everyone, not just the council.

He said: “I’d like to think we could take what you could call a moral lead and say if we’re prepared to do this, what about the various businesses in the town centre and Manor Royal.

“And, of course, to the residents themselves. I’m hoping the council could set up some sort of group of people in Crawley who can discuss and recommend actions that we can take as a community to reduce carbon.”

He also hoped Crawley’s Youth Council could be involved in any such work.

Looking at ways in which the borough council could reduce its carbon footprint, Mr Thomas said care should be taken when it came to its investments, putting money into renewable energy and the like and not investing in fossil fuels.

Crawley has already made a good start, installing thousands of solar panels across the town and building low-energy Passivhaus homes in Three Bridges and Ifield.

Praising West Sussex County Council’s climate pledge, he said: “It’s very inviting, very positive, and it’s simply asking ordinary people in West Sussex to do a little bit more.

“Perhaps walk a little bit more, perhaps cycle a little bit more, perhaps think about turning the thermostat down – simple little acts like that which can make a difference.”

The full council meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday July 17 at the town hall, in the Boulevard. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

To make the West Sussex Climate Change Pledge, visit the council’s website.