Climate Emergency & Environment Working Group Proposal – Waltham Abbey Town Council


On Wednesday 31st July 2019 Waltham Abbey Town Council will discuss a proposal to:

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency
  2. Launch an Environment Working Group.

What do you think? Please let your Town Councillors know!

The meeting starts at 7.30pm at the Town Hall on Highbridge Street and is open to the public.

To contact your councillor(s)

Find your ward here: https://mapit.mysociety.org/

Then find your Town Councillor(s) here: http://www.walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk/members

Coming to the meeting?

Please let the Town Council know:

Phone: 01992 714949

Email: townclerk@walthamabbey-tc.gov.uk

The Proposal

In response to the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that demonstrates the need for immediate action if we are to halt the global rise in temperature and the potentially devastating effects this might have on our community, it is proposed that Waltham Abbey Town Council: 

  1. Declares a Climate Emergency, acknowledging the urgent need for local and global reductions in carbon emissions
  2. Recognises the influence we have as a Council in achieving those reductions
  3. Commits to taking an active role to become carbon neutral by the internationally recognised date of 2030, and
  4. Encourages, supports and enables the wider community to meet that target also.

To achieve these aims, the Council will establish an Environment Working Group (EWG).

The EWG, led by the Council, shall facilitate involvement and management from the wider community where appropriate.

The EWG will, by March 2020, produce a strategy for achieving these aims, and an ‘action plan’ including carbon reduction pathways to be presented at Full Council.

As part of its remit, the EWG will consider the need for Council to be provided with the environmental implications of any proposal under consideration, alongside the legal and financial implications in all the decisions it makes.

The EWG will explore ways to encourage our community to reduce its CO2 emissions. To that end, the group will make recommendations for budget provision for grant schemes from 2020-2021 onwards that will enable carbon-reduction activities in Waltham Abbey.


IPCC Report The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report in 2018 on the subject of ‘Global Warming of 1.5C’. The report is an international effort to summarise the current scientific consensus on how society might limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, as well as the likely consequences of this and greater levels of warming. The report states that:

  • Human activity has already caused 1C of warming to the earth
  • To limit warming to 1.5C it will be necessary to halve global carbon emissions by 2030 and to achieve near-zero net emissions by 2050
  • The consequences of 2C warming are significantly worse than 1.5C warming across all areas considered in the report

At present, humanity is falling far short of the action necessary to limit warming to even 2C. The likely global failure to achieve this target would result in increasingly severe consequences including very large scale water and food shortages, widespread flooding, heat-related morbidity and large scale destruction of the natural world. These would result in substantial political and economic instability. The magnitude of the changes is difficult to quantify exactly, but the likely results are grave, both internationally and more locally.

Since the publication of the IPCC report, local authorities up and down the country have passed motions declaring a Climate Emergency and committing to making their areas carbon neutral by 2030.

Information about steps Town Councils can take if a Climate Emergency is declared