Sandwell Council is set to declare a climate change emergency – to protect local people from the effects of increasing global temperatures and to help make the borough carbon zero by 2041.
Sandwell councillors will be asked to make a declaration of a climate emergency at Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (10 March).
The declaration will be proposed by Councillor Wasim Ali, cabinet member for resources and core services, who believes strongly that human-induced climate change is the main threat to humans, civilisation and the natural world.
Councillor Ali said he was confident that it was still possible to restore a safe climate to prevent most of the anticipated long-term climate impacts.
“However this can only be done if societies across the world adopt emergency actions to change the way we live.” he said.
Councillor Ali said people from all walks of life, and especially the younger members of the community, were now realising that the world was facing very real dangers from the effects of climate change.
“In Sandwell, air pollution is a challenge and we cannot tackle this problem by ourselves and need to work with partners and neighbouring authorities to make the area a healthier place for all,” he said.
He said climate change had been identified by the World Health Organisation as the number one priority for public health this century, so the ‘do nothing’ option was not sustainable.
The council already has a Climate Change Working Group looking at ways to improve air quality and public transport. The group also wants to encourage people to switch to low or zero emission cars and increase walking and cycling. Businesses will also be encouraged to look at using low emission vehicles.
Sandwell Council is currently carrying out a consultation on a proposed air quality strategy and draft climate change strategy. There is still chance for residents and businesses to have their say online at www.sandwell.gov.uk/climatechange. The consultation will close on Sunday 15 March.