County Council – 12 October 2021


Item 7 - Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change report paragraph 1 – Notice of Motion – Climate and Ecology Bill


Amended recommendation to be proposed by Councillor Bennett  





Tackling Climate Change is a priority for the UK Government. Britain was the first G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. East Sussex County Council (ESCC) policy is aligned with that approach. The UK’s interim target of reducing emissions by 68 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030 is faster than any other major economy. The government has recently made the decision to end direct support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas as soon as possible. Over the next 5 years, the government will spend at least £3 billion providing transformational international climate finance on nature and biodiversity, while the UK, with 357 Marine Protected Areas of different types, is on course to protect over half of our waters.


The Climate and Ecology Bill: seeks to audit the UK’s global carbon footprint by including indirect UK emissions from our international supply chains which may have an adverse impact on developing countries; would involve a re-profiling, broadening & deepening of already ambitious existing carbon budgets; is likely too proscriptive on the use of negative emissions technologies; contains difficult to reconcile aspirations around its approach to domestic, international & inter-generational equity; inevitably imposes a greater burden on UK residents, threatening adverse impacts on their living standards; has recourse to citizen assemblies which are of dubious efficacy and runs counter to our Parliamentary traditions.


The County Council resolves


1. That it believes that:


        I.            Government climate and ecological initiative, as informed by its commitment to the Millennium and UN Sustainable Development Goals, its environmental policies and its current national carbon budgets as laid down in legislation, advised and audited by the Committee on Climate Change, strike the right balance for a country that leads the G7 on Climate initiative and accounts for approximately 1% of current global territorial emissions.

      II.            Focus on properly valuing eco-system services, safeguarding and enhancing carbon sinks, conserving and restoring biodiverse habitats, natural and human modified ecosystems and the health of their soils must be an increasing focus for policy.

    III.            High-level policy ambitions must be grounded at a national, regional and local authority level in direction & fine detail, supported by central funding.


2. To write to our MP’s asking them to press Ministers for that greater direction, detail and support to assist us in delivering on net-zero. Additionally, to ask that they consider further policy action which puts a proper value on eco-system services, enhances carbon sinks, preserves and improves natural and human modified ecosystems and promotes biodiversity