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Lib Dem motion to adopt 10:10 referred to Cabinet for decision

November 1, 2009 6:30 PM
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The 10:10 Campaign is seeking to get us all to cut our enertgy usage by 10% in 2010

At the Spelthorne Council meeting on 29th October the Liberal Democrat group proposed a motion seeking to get the Council to sign-up to the 10:10 campaign. This is a grass roots campaign to get individuals and organisations to cut their energy consumption by 10% in 2010 to help arrest the progress of climate change.

Unfortunately the Conservatives chose to refer the decision to the Cabinet to decide. This appeared to have been done to avoid a straight vote on the motion, as this would have revealed a damaging split in the Conservative ranks.

During the debate, two Tory Councillors revealed themselves to be climate change deniers. One of them talked about "the jury being out" on climate change and used 1996 statistics in an attempt to justify his position. It is hardly surprising that the only Tory Council to support Heathrow expansion harbours individuals with these kind of views on environmental issues.

The overwhelming weight of scientific opinion now agrees that man-made climate change is real and without significant action now, the future of mankind is threatened as never before. The 10:10 campaign (see link below for details) is aiming to get public action now to make a difference and to send an urgent message to politicians that world-wide agreement is essential. In December there is a climate change conference in Copenhagen and a binding agreement to reduce,not just to limit, emissions is desperately needed.

Over 50 Councils of all political complexions have signed up to the campaign that only started in September. It is greatly to be hoped that Spelthorne will join the growing number after the Cabinet meeting in early December.

In a House of Commons debate on the 21st October the Conservatives backed a Liberal Democrat motion seeking to promote the 10:10 campaign across government. The motion was diluted by the government to prevent it from being required to take any action, but the moral argument and the balance of opinion was strongly in favour of the motion.

The Spelthorne Council motion proposed by the Liberal Democrat Group was as follows:

"This Council notes that:

Under the UK Climate Change Act 2008 the UK is due to cut its emissions by 34% by 2020 but according to climate change scientists, a cut of 10% in 2010 is in line with what is now needed to avert runaway climate change.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meets in Copenhagen in December of this year. To ensure a breakthrough there government ministers need to know that their public support more dramatic cuts in emissions than have hitherto been proposed.

Twenty seven* councils are among those who have already signed up to the "10:10 Campaign" which seeks to persuade individuals, businesses, organisations and the UK government to reduce their CO2 emissions by 10% in 2010.

This Council supports the aims and ambitions of this national 10:10 Campaign. This Council therefore resolves to sign Spelthorne Borough Council up for the 10:10 Campaign."

[* The number of Councils who have signed up has increased to over 50 since this motion was drafted]

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