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Residents Shocked by Mayors Response on Climate Declaration

Feb 20 2019

Residents Shocked by Mayors Response on Climate Declaration

Thames residents who spoke to the Thames District Council monthly Forum yesterday are horrified at the Mayor’s public refusal to recognise climate change and the need for more than “ risk and resilience” reactivity.

“ For the a second time in the last few months we asked the TCDC to sign the Local Government Climate Declaration and start reducing emissions along with many other Councils. The Mayor has refused to take leadership on climate change which given the vulnerability of our region is a very worrying approach” said Sheena Beaton a local resident who was hugely affected by the 2017 storm surge on the Thames Coast.

On Tuesday 19 February 2019 local citizens spoke during the public forum at the monthly council meeting on the need for leadership to reduce carbon emissions locally. “Our community is capable of great things but we need leadership”, said Nancy Zwaan. “Council should tap into the wealth of knowledge in the community to understand what is happening to our environment and what can be done about it.”, said Ross McDonald.

Recent scientific reports from the world's leading authorities (including the IPCC) show that we have a very short window of a little over 10 years to begin making significant changes before we cross the tipping points of extreme and irreversible climate change. There is an urgent need for action to prevent this from happening.

Both speakers urged the council to sign the Local Government Climate Change Declaration which outlines clear, succinct actions that can be taken. TCDC is one of a few local governments who has not signed this declaration.

Ross McDonald noted that the Declaration simply asks the council to agree to develop plans to reduce local emissions, coordinate with government and work with the local community to find resilient solutions to the predictable impacts of climate change. "Why would you not want to do that?" he asked“

This is the second time that local citizens have spoken at the Forum requesting more urgent action on climate change but the Mayor’s response has shocked the residents.

“We really want to work with Council to take urgent action and we will keep the pressure on until we get an informed response. This issue is too important to be denied and minimised as random “weather patterns” said Sheena Beaton who spoke at last month’s Council Public Forum”. We need leadership and we need it now”..

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