During March’s Scrutiny Committee (catch up here) Cllr Michael Lilley raised the issue of the IPCC special report on climate change (see below for details) and the prospect of the Isle of Wight council joining others around the world by declaring a ‘climate emergency’.
He explained how the subject was being discussed in many councils and local authorities around the country, as well as people taking action on the Isle of Wight (see details of the Extinction Rebellion rally in January that attracted 200 residents and the one earlier this month that attracted 300).
Indeed since that meeting, Portsmouth City Council have declared a climate emergency.
Lilley: Seeking reassurance
Cllr Lilley acknowledged the reference in the Leader’s update that the IWC are putting together an environment policy, but he asked for reassurance that officers are looking at the IPCC report on climate change (see more here) and taking on board what other authorities are doing, “particularly as the Island is expecting be awarded UNESCO Biosphere status later this year,” he said.
Stewart: “I don’t know if it’s an emergency”
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, said they had been inundated with lots emails and “various things”.
“I personally have done some research on that particular report and I’ve also done some research on an awful lot of other reports.
“The reality of life is, it depends where you stand and I will be one of those who says our climate is deteriorating in some areas because the evidence is pretty clear.
“On the other hand I don’t know if it’s an emergency that’s going to hit in tomorrow morning, because I haven’t seen the evidence of that. So I’m very much in the learning phase.”
Stewart: Emergency is “un-evidenced to me”
He went on to say,
“I don’t hold with the ‘climate extinction, emergency everything’, because for me that is an un-evidenced position.”
Adding that “there’s lots of evidence for lots of things”, but that “we’re mindful of it”.
He finished by saying,
“I don’t like some of the terminology I’ve seen about war and fighting and everything else.
IPCC special report on climate change
Full details of the special report by the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, first released in October 2018, can be found on the dedicated Website.
The report states the world only has 12 years to limit global warming or the consequences for the planet will be impossible to tackle.
Greta Thunberg is this week addressing the UK Parliament with the same message she gave to the United Nations,
“Our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.
“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic…and act as if the house was on fire. Because it is.”