28 June 2019

Councillors have voted to declare a climate and ecological emergency in Swale. 

motion was passed at this week’s full council meeting which committed the council to acting to reducing carbon emissions and make space for nature. 

The vote means the council will aim to make its own operations carbon neutral by 2025 and work with businesses, residents and organisations so the whole borough hits this ambitious target by 2030. 

It also committed the council to becoming plastic free by 2021, and make sure improving energy efficiency and creating space for nature are key priorities in all its strategies and plans. 

Cllr Tim Valentine, Swale Green Party cabinet member for environment at the council who proposed the motion, said: 

“We live in an area that is already vulnerable to flooding, with every tide washing more plastic onto our coastline, and where residents suffer from unacceptably high levels of air pollution.

"Habitat loss and changes in how we use the land are contributing to huge declines of species, with the rate of extinctions rising alarmingly and threatening the pollinators we rely on to grow the food we eat. 

"It’s simply unacceptable for us to sit and do nothing, hoping someone else will do something to deal with these problems. 

"Taking bold action now to tackle these issues will not only help to reverse these trends but will also deliver economic benefits and improved health and wellbeing for local people. 

"Insulating homes will reduce the number of people in fuel poverty and provide skilled jobs. Improved public transport will lead to fewer car journeys, create jobs and reduce social exclusion in rural areas. 

"Walking and cycling encourage a healthy, active lifestyle, and protecting our wild places and providing access to nature promotes good physical and mental health. 

"By showing leadership on these issues we can make a lasting difference not just for the local environment, but for the benefit of everyone.” 

The motion was passed, committing the council to acting to reduce carbon emissions and make space for nature.

The vote means Swale Borough Council will aim to make it's own operations carbon neutral by 2025 and work with businesses, residents and organisations so the whole borough hits this ambitious target by 2030. We are also committed to becoming plastic free by 2021, and make sure improving energy efficiency and creating space for nature are key priorities in all our strategies and plans.

For more information, visit: www.swale.gov.uk/climate-change-emergency-declared