Resolution passed at CLP GC meeting on 25th April
West Ham Labour Party believes that humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from preindustrial levels.
West Ham Labour Party also notes:
That the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. The IPCC identify that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities;
That atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;
That individual and collective action is needed to make this reduction. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure and culture to recognise and meet the full cost of greenhouse gases.
That the public sector has a fundamental role in enabling individuals and communities to make sustainable low carbon choices.
West Ham Labour Party further notes, the consequences of inaction to address this climate emergency will include:
• Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings, infrastructure and the local economy.
• Health problems, particularly for children, older people and those with pre-existing conditions.
• Higher living costs including energy, food, travel and insurance costs. • Increases in social injustice and inequality.
• Financial and emotional consequences for residents with families around the world adversely affected by the impact of a changing climate
Additionally, West Ham Labour Party notes that Councils around the world, including the Mayor of London and other local authorities in London and the UK have responded by declaring a ‘climate emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.
Therefore, West Ham Labour Party will write to the Mayor of Newham to urge Newham Council:
1. Declare a ‘climate emergency’
2. Recognise that a changing climate will have severe and enduring social, economic and environmental implications, and that tackling climate change is an issue of inequality as the greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable and those least able to protect themselves.
3. Pledge to do everything within their power to make Newham carbon neutral by 2030.
4. Launch a review to report to on delivering a Zero-Carbon Newham including:
• Publishing a new Newham Action Plan on Climate Change, before the end of the municipal year 2019/20.
• Setting specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions for the Council and for the borough as a whole, including costed milestones to zero-carbon, such as moving towards sustainable and active travel within the Newham;
• Consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s activities;
• Increase local resilience to climate impacts already in the system.
5. Establish a Citizens Assembly made up of a representative range of Newham citizens to establish the facts and make recommendations for our borough, including the ability of Newham Council Pension Fund to divest its investment in fossil fuel companies.
6. Task the Cabinet Member for Environment with responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities as rapidly as possible, ensuring a coordinated approach across housing, our corporate estate, transport, regeneration, planning and other services.
7. To prioritise support for vulnerable residents working with partners at a community, borough-wide and regional level to provide advice services and access to funding for heating, insulation and ventilation.
8. Accelerate existing programmes to deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions including delivery of heat networks in the borough, low carbon development and high-quality housing, an efficient and low carbon corporate estate and support for renewables and for community energy.
9. Work with partner bodies across the borough and across London to ensure the climate emergency is adequately reflected in the development and implementation of all borough-wide strategies and plans.
10. Reaffirm Newham’s membership of UK100, and use our membership to work with other councils across the UK to meet climate change targets.
11. Draw up a communications strategy to support delivery of a Zero-Carbon Newham and enable Newham residents to make low carbon choices.
12. Call on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make this possible.
13 Divest Newham pension fund from all fossil fuels