Fife Council declares climate emergency

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Fife councillors have declared there is a climate emergency.

At Thursday’s full meeting, they agreed to support an amendment which would declare the emergency, as well as setting emissions targets for the local authority.

Councillor Jane-Ann Liston proposed a motion which would see the council declare a climate emergency, work with partners to help make Fife carbon neutral by 2030, and assist communities to become more resilient to the impacts of global warming, particularly flooding and drought.

Cllr Liston said: “This is a rather serious issue as you’re all aware. Greta Thunberg said ‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood’ which is rather stark.

“The science has said that global warming is happening a lot faster than we thought. The glaciers are disappearing, that is going to have an effect. It, therefor, beggars belief who still say it isn’t happening.

“We need to get our act together – that’s why we need to be declaring a climate emergency.”

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She was backed by Cllr Tim Brett who said it was the “most serious issue that faces the world.”

He added: “People are now starting to talk about this and yesterday’s announcement from the UN makes it clear we have to go faster, quicker and deeper.”

The joint administration proposed an amendment, which agreed that Fife Council should declare a climate emergency, with Cllr Ross Vettraino saying: “We recognise that results are needed and will seek to reduce Fife’s carbon emissions by 75% by 2030, 90% by 2045 and be carbon neutral by 2045.

“The council will also continue to develop its sustainable energy and climate action plan, and should take into account the 12 point guidance on taking forward the climate change emergency agenda.”

He was backed by Cllr Judy Hamilton, who said: “I think we all know what the emergency is, but we need a place based solution for Fife – so in declaring an emergency we will take responsibility.

“Work is already well underway on our action plan. Today’s declaration shows that this council is absolutely serious about reducing emissions, is serious about giving leadership throughout Fife and taking the hugely important step of declaring the emergency.”

The amendment was backed 58-6 in a vote.